11 Jun 1999 Pre-2014 Releases

The British Horseracing Board has called on the betting industry to focus on the message which emerged from the survey of punters’ opinions presented at yesterday’s Annual General Meeting.
BHB Chairman, Peter Savill, said today: “”There are very important messages in this survey about the way punters think the chronic underfunding of British racing should be tackled.
“”The betting industry’s reaction to the survey is an entirely predictable smokescreen, an attempt to distract attention from what their customers are actually saying. They should focus on the message from their customers and stop trying to shoot the messenger.
“”This was a thoroughly professional survey conducted by an independent and highly reputable opinion research organisation, whose clients include government and top companies. Detailed focus group work was done to explore the views of punters. This formed the basis of the list of questions. The survey itself was then conducted entirely objectively with a standard and statistically robust sample of punters who were interviewed outside betting shops up and down the country.
“”For too long, bookmakers have been allowed to get away with portraying themselves as the punters’ friend, perpetuating the myth that in the important debate about the future funding of racing and the forthcoming Levy negotiations, the punter is on the side of the betting industry and opposed to racing’s aims.
“”This independent survey explodes that myth. The overwhelming majority of punters visit betting shops to bet on horseracing. They agree with the BHB on the key arguments in the Financial Plan. 72% of punters think prize money is too low; 91% think bookmakers should contribute more to racing from their profits and 95% of those who think prize money is too little believe owners should recover half their training costs or more from prize money rather than the current 23%.
“”The message may be an unpalatable one for the betting industry, but they should pay attention to the fact that these are not just the views of the BHB but of their own customers.””