Betting Shop Champion Awards to recognise retail bookmakers

The one-off Betting Shop Champion Awards aims to recognise the work of retail betting staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.

UK.- A one-off event named the Betting Shop Champion Awards will aim to recognise the efforts of retail betting and gaming staff during the Covid-19 pandemic.

With the Betting Shop Manager of the Year award cancelled in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic, Racing Post and SIS (Sports Information Services) decided to “do something to celebrate the ‘fantastic work’ done throughout the industry”.

UK betting shops were closed for much of last year due to Covid-19 lockdowns in the UK. Betting shops in England and Wales were able to reopen on Monday April 12, and Scottish outlets opened shortly later.

Staff have until September 3 to nominate colleagues using an online form. Eight people will be shortlisted and recognised at a virtual awards event to be hosted by the Racing Post’s Lee Mottershead on November 17.

The shortlist will be decided by a panel comprising Helen Scott, head of service management at SIS; Nick Rust, the former chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) – now chairman of the Starting Price Regulatory Commission (SPRC), Richard Hayler, CEO at Ibas, horse racing commentator Tanya Stevenson and freelance writer Jim Cremin.

Racing Post’s chief executive Alan Byrne said: “We have heard many stories of managers and other people in retail going above and beyond the call of duty to protect the health of their customers and their staff, and simply to keep their shops open for business in the face of the challenges the pandemic has imposed on us all.

“We want to salute those efforts and highlight the resilience and determination that so many people have shown.”

Richard Ames, chief executive of SIS, said: “It’s been a very difficult time for the industry over the last 18 months, but during this period there will be countless stories of how betting shop managers and staff have gone above and beyond for their customers.

“We are very pleased to be part of these awards and want to recognise the efforts of those who have continued to offer outstanding service to their communities and our industry. Good luck to all those who are nominated and I look forward to celebrating our betting shop heroes at the awards.”

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