Today, Arena Racing Company (“ARC”) announces prize money across its 15 racecourses will be in excess of £35 million in 2018.
In recent years ARC has increased significantly its investment in prize money with its Executive Contribution growing from £11.3 million in 2015 to a planned £17.5 million this year, as illustrated in the graph below:
In recent years ARC has played a central role in helping ensure there are record levels of prize money in British Racing. In addition to increasing its own Executive Contribution, ARC worked closely with other stakeholders in the sport and the Government to extend the levy to remote betting by being the first to commit to the Authorised Betting Partner initiative. This is set to see levy yield increase by £20 to £30 million a year.
In addition, despite not having media rights deals in place with leading bookmakers during part of 2017, ARC maintained levels of prize money which had a significant financial impact on the business in the short term.
Looking to the future, ARC is continuing to expand and grow its new media rights model through The Racing Partnership. This innovative new model makes use of technological advancements which mean that rights’ holders now have the opportunity to work together on both sale and delivery, making the old business model which relied on unconnected third parties, outdated. This means rights’ holders, such as racecourses, no longer need to give away value to third parties and deals struck by The Racing Partnership with the horseracing and greyhound industries in the UK, US, Australia and South Africa demonstrate the viability and strength of this proposition.
ARC Chief Executive, Martin Cruddace, said: “ARC is pleased with 2018 prize money levels. In line with the industry approach the significant increases in prize money is at the grassroots level and we look forward to measuring the impact this has on field sizes and ownership in the months and years ahead.
“We are putting significant energy and investment into our media rights models which we believe offers British Racing the opportunity to safeguard and increase the value of its product, while growing betting on the sport in partnership with betting operators around the world.”