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Economic Impact of British Racing 2009

Economic Impact of British Racing 2009



Horseracing, after football, is the nation’s biggest sport, generating more revenues and attracting more attendees than any other sport. As such, we were delighted when the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) asked us to update the results of our 2005 Economic Impact of British Racing Report.

Our report focuses on the period up to and including 2008, but given the challenging economic climate that developed in late 2008, also discusses developments in 2009.

The report examines the economic impact of British Racing. Key participants in Racing are the owners, racecourses, trainers, breeders, jockeys, stable staff, racing organisations, media and racing consumers such as racegoers, punters and sponsors.

In addition to assessing its own economic impact this report examines positions British Racing in the context of British sports, betting, leisure and rural economies.

Key findings

Racing has retained its position as the second biggest sport in Britain after football, including revenue generation and attendance, in a major new Economic Impact Study published today. British Horseracing generated expenditure of £3.40bn in 2008, up from £2.86bn in 2005. Once capital expenditure is added this figure rises to more than £3.7bn.

The British Horseracing business contributed at least £325m in tax in 2008, taking the five year tax total to over £1.5bn. British Racing has 18,600 full time equivalent jobs within its core industry, a vast number of them within the rural economy.

There are an estimated 52,000 full time equivalent jobs in the onshore betting industry which, given the considerable proportion of gross win provided by Racing (to the betting industry) indicates that a significant proportion of these jobs are supported by the sport.

Taking into account secondary expenditure generated by the Racing industry in the economy as a result of Racing, over 100,000 full time equivalent jobs were supported, directly or indirectly, by British Horseracing.
Other key findings of the wide-ranging Study, which has sections on the sport’s varied participants and customers, as well as comparisons with the leisure market and international competitors, include:

  • Core British Racing industry expenditure of over £1bn, with racecourses generating £361m
  • Owners’ gross expenditure totalled £367m, whilst receiving income of £92m through prize money and expenditure to give a net contribution of £275m
  • The expenditure of the breeding industry was estimated at £207m
  • Capital expenditure over the last five years within the industry of £706m, of which 80% was accounted for by racecourses, and a further estimated £110m by trainers and breeders
  • Bookmakers’ gross win on British Racing in 2008 totalling £1.05bn

In terms of Racing’s standing within the competitive sports market in Britain:

  • Racing once again had four of the top eight attended sporting events in 2008
  • Total attendances of 5.7m last year placed Racing second only to football, with Rugby Union overtaking Greyhound racing to third place, followed by Cricket and Rugby League

The Study also analysed betting turnover and returns to racing of the major racing nations.

Britain was second only to Japan in the total amount bet on racing, with £12.1bn wagered in Britain compared to just under £14bn wagered in Japan. However, the return to racing in Japan was £741m (5.3% of the amount wagered) against just £118m in Britain (1%). Both the USA and France see 8% of money wagered returned to racing (£589m and £531m respectively).

As with all sports, Racing has not been immune to the effects of the economic downturn, experiencing reduced bloodstock sales. However, attendances at its flagship events generally held up well in 2009, suggesting it is well placed to re-bound when the economy improves.

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