The horseracing industry in Yorkshire contributes over £300 million annually to the UK’s economy. In 2019, the industry’s revenue totaled £300.2 million from racing and non-racing events.
There are more than 3,600 workers employed full-time in the sector, 75% of them working in rural areas. The county is home to 15% of horse trainers in Britain. More than 2,400 horses, equivalent to 17% of all racehorses under training in Britain, are trained in Yorkshire.
The county is home to nine racecourses, two major training courses, a rehabilitation center for jockeys and stable staff, and the National Racing College.
According to the research data analyzed by Safe Betting Sites, the pandemic could reduce the contribution of racing to the economy of Yorkshire by 72%. That would translate to a loss of £114.8 million.
Racing in the country also supports charitable work worth £1.6 million to £2 million every year through sponsorship, fundraisers and local charity donations.
For the UK as a whole, the horseracing industry has employed over 20,000 people. According to NCBI, it contributes approximately £3.45 billion annually to the economy.
Prize Money Drops by 63% to £3.8 Million for Britain’s Prime Races
Due to lockdown restrictions, the 2019/20 jump racing season ended prematurely while the flat racing season was delayed. Flat racing resumed on June 1, behind closed doors, while jump racing resumed on July 1.
With spectators still banned from attending events, the industry is looking to the federal government for a bailout.
Prize money at Britain’s 10 prime flat races sank by 63% this summer season compared to the 2019 season. It went from £10.3 million to £3.8 million.
The Investec Derby, one of the popular prime flat races, which was worth £1.6 million in 2019 gave out £500,000 in 2020. Similarly, the Juddmonte International fell from £1 million to £275,000.
Ascot slashed the King George VI Stakes prize money to £400,000 from £1.25 million. On the other hand, British Champion Stakes went from £1.4 million to £750,000. In comparison to the rest, it was UK’s most valuable race in 2020.
Compared to other horseracing countries, Britain has been lagging in terms of prize money. Over the past decade, its average prize pool per flat race has been the lowest among the top seven racing nations globally.
HKJC Says Over 90% of Horseracing Bets Placed Online in 2020
Hong Kong has built a reputation for putting on the richest races globally. In 2020, while racing organizations around the world are slashing prize pools, the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) has done the opposite.
For the 2020/21 season, the body announced that it would increase prize money across the board.
One of the highlights of the announcement was a 20% increase for its key domestic race, the BMW Hong Kong Derby. That would make it the second richest derby worldwide, second only to its Japanese equivalent.
In total, the body announced a record HK$1.4 billion ($181M) for the entire season across 88 meetings. The figure represented an increase of 4.8% over the previous season.
For the Hong Kong Derby, the prize pot would amount to HK$24 million. The Hong Kong Classic Cup and Hong Kong Classic Mile would get a 20% hike to HK$12 million.
Similarly, five of the 12 annual Group 1 races would get a 20% boost to HK$12 million. The G1 Longines Hong Kong Sprint received a 10% raise from HK$20 million to HK$22 million.
Hong Kong is home to three of the richest Group 1 races. These include the Hong Kong Cup over 1m2f (HK$28 million), the Mile (HK$25 million) and the Longines 6f Sprint (HK$22 million).
To a great extent, betting on the Hong Kong International Races that commence on December 14, 2020 helped support the HKJC’s commitment to the prize money.
The body had fans from 27 jurisdictions that bet through its 60 wagering partners. It highlights that over 90% of bets in 2020 were placed online. Comparatively, the split in 2019 was 55% online, 15% via call centers and 30% via betting shops and racecourses.
The HKIR this December has limited admissions to owners with starters. This comes as no surprise seeing as during the Chinese New Year meeting in January 2020, only 9,700 people were admitted, compared to 105,700 at a similar time in 2019.