French horseracing loses €15m a month under lockdown

daily revenue was down by between 20 per cent and 30 per cent.
daily revenue was down by between 20 per cent and 30 per cent.

The sports governing body has warned that it will post a loss this year if restrictions are extended into next month.

France.- The flat and steeplechase racing governing body has warned that racing is losing €15m a month during France’s current lockdown measures and will see a loss for 2020 if restrictions continue.

Racing has been allowed to continue in France during the second Covid-19 lockdown but there has been a severe drop in wagers due to the closure of non-essential businesses, including Pari-Mutuel Urbain’s (PMU) retail network of 13,000 betting shops.

Stakes had risen by 15 per cent year-on-year in July and August after France’s first lockdown came to an end, but growth in October was just 1.2 per cent with November set to see a decline due to the second lockdown.

France Galop said daily revenue was down by between 20 per cent and 30 per cent. 

It said online sales were increasing but not enough to come close to making up for the loss of retail revenue.

France’s Covid-19 lockdown measures are currently due to lapse on December 1.

France Galop warned that if they end up being extended, racing would post a final loss for the year leaving  France Galop unable to revise funding allocations as it had planned.

It said: “Over 2020 as a whole, including the suspension of racing, allocations will have fallen by 25.6 per cent compared to 2019.”

It warned it may have to temporarily hold back on planned funding next year, while it would attempt to cut costs further.

Costs have already been cut by €14m this year. France Galop drew up a four-year strategy designed to help racing recover from the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic this year, aiming to offer incentives for the training of new horses.

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