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British Horseracing Association

Five-year economic plan for the British Horseracing Industry, informing future industry-wide decisions

British racing is estimated to contribute £4.1 billion annually to the UK economy but is facing fundamental industry challenges. Financially, the industry was dealing with falling betting and media rights revenues as well as declining attendances, whilst more broadly there were issues such as racing staff churn and declining involvement of large owners.

Portas developed an economic plan underpinned by a complex simulation model, which provided British Racing with a set of strategic recommendations that maximised value for the whole industry from 2021-25. These recommendations focused on the size and shape of the fixture list, level of investment into prize money and prioritisation of central funding.

Our Approach

A rigorous and analytical approach - involving behavioural, financial and simulation modelling - was carried out in collaboration with all major industry stakeholders. This involved gathering and analysing extensive qualitative and quantitative data from across the industry – providing a shared evidence base for the first time. Stakeholder engagement included:

  • Extensive and iterative focused engagements over nine months with all major industry bodies, racecourses, media rights companies, bookmakers, and horsemen
  • Over 1,100 behavioural and financial responses to surveys supported by workshops taking place across the country
  • Fixture-level financial data from 27 independent racecourses and both racecourse groups
  • Indexed betting turnover data from three years of fixtures
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