30th September 2020
In the House of Commons today, Sports Minister Nigel Huddleston MP announced that the Department for Culture, Media and Sport are putting together a package of financial support for sports that have been adversely impacted by the lockdown. The Minister recognised that without spectators many sectors are prevented from earning a living and has pledged Government support. Details of the scheme and the criteria for inclusion have not yet been announced as it is being finalised.
The FRB has, through our parliamentary supporters, contacted Mr Huddleston to request a meeting so that he can fully appreciate how we differ from our off-course and on-line counterparts and why support from the Government is vital. In addition, we have contacted the Labour spokesman with a request for a briefing meeting. Next week there is a wide-ranging debate in the House of Commons on the impact of COVID-19 on all industries covered by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport and we have conducted an extensive briefing campaign to ensure our points are raised in the debate.
RMG Payments Q2
When we contacted you on the 17th April 2020 we informed you that although none of us would be recording Racecourse Attendances for Q2 that we were in negotiations with T.R.P. regarding payments going forward and that we were hopeful to be in a position whereby some form of ex-gratia payment could be considered.
We are pleased to confirm that we find ourselves in a position, due to the contractual terms previously negotiated on your behalf with T.R.P., to be able to make such a payment to all our T.R.P. registered colleagues.
A number of options have been considered as to how this payment should be calculated and after consultation with our professional advisors it was agreed that payments to each colleague would be based on their equivalent attendances and payments made to them for those attendances for Q2 at respective racecourses for the 2019 season.
We are pleased to confirm that this payment equates to 40% of the payments you received for the equivalent period in 2019.
Work has started on collating the relevant data, which you will appreciate is a long and time-consuming process, and once completed your respective payment will be made to you in the usual way.
This has only been achievable by Bookmakers staying united and working together under the F.R.B. umbrella.
We thank you for your ongoing support and look forward to the day when all our lives return to some form of normality.
RMG Q1 Data Payments.
The FRB received RMG attendances on the 31st July 2020 and will now process the payments which you will receive in the coming days.
Update - July 2020
As many of you will have no doubt seen, there are several news items referring to the resumption of racing at British racecourses.
Members of AGT’s Technical Sub-Committee were invited to discuss with the RCA representatives how we can safely get bookmakers back on the racecourse and resume business. Our representatives have made it clear that we wish to include as many bookmakers as possible when racing resumes but we must make it clear that within the terms of our contracts we (The bookmakers) are not permitted to set or limit bookmaker numbers.
We now await proposals from the RCA and BHA with regard to bookmaker attendances and would urge you all to keep yourself up to date by regularly visiting both the BHA and RCA websites.
Updates across the associations’ websites will appear as and when we have further information.
Here’s looking forward to safely getting back to work.
The Directors, FRB.
You may be be aware that on Saturday (Derby Day) Newbury Racecourse have arranged a pop up pub along with large screens to cover horseracing and 2 Premier League football matches.
The FRB approached the racecourse to offer them betting services to be provided by a number of bookmakers to enable the racecourse to offer a full package for those attending the event.
Newbury racecourse have responded and have stated that they do not require betting services and thanked us for our offer and assistance.
The FRB continue to work on behalf of all bookmakers and we always listen to your questions and welcome feedback.
Best wishes to all, keep safe and well and let's hope we're all back on the racecourse soon.
The FRB Directors.
It is with sadness that we announce the passing of Graham Billington, who bet as JP Doyle, peacefully at home on 31st May 2020, following a short battle with cancer.
The much loved husband of Theresa, loving father of Sarah, devoted Grandpa to Oscar and Owen, loving brother of Hilary and loving uncle to Sam and Anna.
Due to present Covid restrictions, a private family funeral will take place.
No flowers by request please, donations in lieu would be gratefully accepted for St. John's Hospice, Lancaster, c/o
Martin's, The Funeral Directors, 186-188, Tulketh Brow, Ashton-on-Ribble, Preston. PR2 2JJ. Tel. 01772 733007.
Following continued discussions on behalf of our members, we are pleased that the RCA have made the following announcement...
An RCA spokesperson has issued the following statement with regard to the timing of allowing crowds, and bookmakers, back to the racecourse.
“Please rest assured that we are acutely aware of the financial pressure that behind closed doors racing places on racecourses and those who rely on attending a day’s racing as an income source.
British racing’s provisional return on 1st June is a big step forward. We will continue to work with our industry partners and DCMS to introduce further ways to return to normality but we will be guided by government advice. As soon as it is deemed safe and appropriate to move forward, we will.”
Coronavirus May 2020
The FRB have taken several steps to ensure our members’ concerns are drawn to the attention of the Government during the lockdown.
1. MPs have written directly to the Chancellor Rishi Sunak to highlight the particular needs of the on-course industry. We have stressed it is essential that support is given to us once racing returns, as we cannot earn a living if racing is conducted behind closed doors.
2. We have also been in touch with MPs who have the 59 racecourses in their constituency to ask for their support for the on-course industry. In doing so, we highlighted the differences between on and off course bookmaking to ensure that we are treated differently to bookmakers who have multiple offerings.
3. Via a Member of Parliament who is a member of a key Commons Select Committee, we have made contact with the Permanent Secretary at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (Sarah Healey). During a recent Committee hearing with the Permanent Secretary and the Chief Executive of the Gambling Commission, the specific question of support for on-course bookmakers was asked, and Ms Healey suggested the MP contacted her for a more detailed briefing meeting.
4. Next steps will be to review the response from Government to our lobbying once the Chancellor has replied. We will also be drafting written and oral parliamentary questions to keep the pressure up and make sure that Ministers and Civil Servants are aware of the impact of lockdown on FRB membership.
5. We are current working on a proposal to put to racecourses so that all parties are clear what procedures will need to be put in place in order to allow on-course bookmakers to return to work once racing opens to the public.
FRB Proposed Revised Gambling Fees - Letter to Gambling Commission