Betting shop punters think the betting industry should pay more to racing from its profits, according to an opinion poll unveiled today.
The results of the poll, carried out by Opinion Leader Research (OLR) for the British Horseracing Board, were announced by the BHB Chairman, Peter Savill, at the Board’s Annual General Meeting in London. OLR interviewed a cross-section of 1,000 betting shop punters across Britain last month.
Mr Savill said the poll demonstrated that the betting industry’s own customers supported key aspects of the BHB’s Financial Plan and would add weight to the Board’s argument in the forthcoming levy negotiations that a higher percentage of betting turnover should be returned to racing.
According to the OLR survey:
* 56% of punters believe the quality of British horseracing is deteriorating
* 72% believe that prize money is not high enough
* 95% of those who say prize money is too low think owners should recover at least half their training costs. (At present, owners recover less than a quarter of costs
* 91% of all punters say the betting industry should pay more to racing from its profits, compared with only 6% who believe that punters should contribute more through higher deductions.
The poll also shows that 77% of all punters visit betting shops primarily to bet on horseracing, compared with 11% for football, 6% for dog racing, and 6% for all other forms of betting. Among those punters who say they normally visit a betting shop every day, 88% say the main reason is horseracing.
Asked to characterise the betting industry from a list of possible descriptions:
* 67% agreed strongly that the betting industry is “”profitable””
* 50% agreed strongly that the betting industry is “”greedy””.
* 38% agreed strongly that the betting industry “”provides a good service””.
* Only 16% agreed strongly that the betting industry is “”committed to the good of horseracing””.
Commenting on the poll findings in his speech, Mr Savill said:
“”It is interesting that it is the betting industry’s own customers that have exposed the shallow arguments, the insincere rhetoric and the disingenuous reasons for the betting industry’s failure to accept its share of the responsibility for the health of the racing industry and for its unwillingness to pay racing a proper percentage of its betting turnover so that we can grow our industry to the benefit of all.
“”The longer the betting industry abrogates these responsibilities the quicker must its 100% monopoly of the distribution of horserace betting be broken. Until that happens, we must all look to the Levy Board to ensure that the betting industry makes a significantly higher contribution to the Levy than it currently makes.””