Chelmsford City Racecourse  Chelmsford city racecourse is a thoroughbred horse racing track located in Great Leighs, England. Having been opened in the year 2008, it is the newest racing venue in England. It is owned by the Betfred Company, and is a venue for flat polytrack races.

Initially, the racecourse was owned and developed by John Holmes, an entrepreneur. Its core aim was to exploit the British horseracing market. It was set to open up in October 2006, but was deferred due to a number of reasons. On the 20th of April 2008 was when the racecourse held its first race meeting. However, there was no invited audience to the meeting. The race was won by Temple of Thebes. It was until May of the same year when the racecourse held its first race meeting with full public attendance. Chelmsford racecourse faced a major setback in 2009 when its racing license was revoked. This was because the parties that had made bids for the racecourse did not have enough funds to run it.

The course officially reopened on the 11th of January 2015, with a crowd of approximately 800 people in attendance. Many people praised the condition of its racing facilities, but also criticized it for the incomplete hospitality facilities. It was fully opened for public attendance on the 22nd of the same month. Since then, Chelmsford has been developing gradually. Last year, it announced its plans to set up a casino as well as develop another turf course inside the tracks.

This year, a series of events are scheduled to take place in the racecourse. For example, on the 20th of April will be the Beer Festival. This event will be grazed with live music and a selection of different beers for people to try. Gates will be opening from 2pm and closing at 10pm. The racecourse provides fantastic facilities, guaranteeing an enjoyable race day.

Uttoxeter Racecourse  Uttoxeter racecourse is a horse racing track located in Uttoxeter, England. It is owned and operated by Northern Racing, and is well-known for its National Hunt races. The course was opened in 1905. Back then, it only hosted a total of 5 race meetings each year, which is a small number compared to today’s 25. It is left-handed, and measures up to one mile in circumference. Being located on the border of Derbyshire and Staffordshire, the racecourse can easily be accessed through the M1 and M6, thus attracting a good number of people to its race meetings. Apart from being a horse racing venue, Uttoxeter offers a venue for all sorts of outdoor and indoor activities ranging from weddings, exhibitions and even conferences.

Racing at Uttoxeter dates back to early 1900s, when horse racing had become a popular sport in England. Its first grandstand was built in 1907. It was opened by a company which had been formed to manage Keele Park racecourse, after the racecourse ceased to operate. It remained fully functional with 2 races happening in May, 2 in October, and 1 in December. It however closed down in 1914 due to the outbreak of World War 1. Racing later resumed in 1921, with only four races taking place that year. The most notable race run there is Midlands Grandstand National, which
takes place every March. It is a handicap steeplechase race, with horses running over a distance of 4 miles and one furlong.

This year, the racecourse will stage a significant number of meetings. On Saturday the 19th of May will be the Music Live 2018. Heaven 17, a pop band will be performing and tickets will be going for 30 Euros. On the 27th of May will be the Great British Family Fun day. It will be the racecourse’s first family fun day in 2018, and is set to be quite the rage.

 

Racecourse Wishlist  We continue to cover a wide number of racecourses on RaceDays.co.uk , and in doing so become accustomed both to what makes a racecourse a truly great experience for those attending and also what improvements can be made to keep punters coming through the turnstiles. In these days of online gambling and sports channels aplenty, bricks and mortar venues need to raise their game in ensuring that they stay relevant in 2019 and beyond!

 

Decent on course pubs

It all seems a bit makeshift on some of the racecourses, when really there’s nothing like having a nice cool pint with mates after putting a bet on, especially if the view of the racecourse is second to none. Plastic glasses, long queues, sub par interiors are all commonplace on many courses, even in pricey executive or members areas. It’s a bit much considering how expensive it can be to go to the races!

 

Entertainment

Now this is an area where some racecourses have definitely upped the ante in recent years. Some, like Newmarket racecourse, have really found the sweet-spot by offering a day at the races followed by a live show by performers such as Will Young, Tears for Fears, Olly Murs and the like. It really does help you to ‘make a day of it’ and can be really good value for money!

Can the entertainment value be dialed up yet further though? Well at Yarmouth Racecourse they have a tie-in with a local casino, where you have a free bet if you present your race course ticket. Perhaps courses could go one step further and get permission to have an onsite casino, ready for the end of the race day. Or have offers that tie in with an established online casino such as  https://www.bestcasinositesonline.com/ . The sky is the limit really, they just need the ambition to explore these options.

 

The Comfort Factor

Many racecourses fall down in this department too. Watching a race in some racecourse stands is a bit like scaling Ben Nevis, just without the sense of achievement once you reach the top. Hard concrete steps, as easy to fly head first down as sit down on can be a challenge too far for some of our more veteran racegoers! It’s often not much better if you intend to get closer to the action either. Some bring deckchairs, and it can fast turn into an impromptu maze to even get to the rail. There definitely needs to be a degree of sanity and organisation put into this area that isn’t currently present!

 

Great Grub

This is really variable by course and some with poor records in the past have got their act together in recent years, but there is still work to be done. The main issue with food at race courses is excessive pricing (it’s already expensive to get in) , lack of options (often chips or nothing!) and small portion sizes (would you like one chip or two, sir!). As I say though, I think a tipping point has been reached where some racecourses are starting to become more punter friendly with the variety on offer, so let’s hope that process continues. An ice cream van and a bloke with a potatoe in the adjacent van doesn’t quite cut it anymore. Anyway, that’s enough moaning for now!

Is it really the end of Horse Racing as we know it?

Is horse racing facing an existential threat?

Photo by: Unknown / CC0 1.0

According to a former top level industry executive, the sport and general industry of horse racing in the UK will soon face an “existential threat” that could put its long-term future at risk.

Richard Flint, former Chief Executive of gaming company Sky Bet recently informed the Racing Post that horse racing would become caught in the crossfire of any threats to the real money gaming and betting industry in the UK. He claimed that should the practice of bookmaking be targeted by opponents to betting and gambling in the country, anyone who would think that racing itself would be “immune to scrutiny” is “naive”. Flint believes that any negative changes to the 2005 Gambling Act would do “vast harm” to the revenues generated by the racing industry.

A mutual partnership 

The practice of bookmaking is tied into the long history of the sport of racing, dating back hundreds of years to the 1790s. Nowadays, the practice has been transformed by the digital revolution and forms a lucrative vertical in the global iGaming industry, with numerous platforms and websites dedicated to placing wagers online. Even casino and poker gaming brands like PokerStars, which is well known for its portfolio of real money gaming solutions, enabled betting on horse races through its platform.

Is it really the end of Horse Racing as we know it?

Bookmakers and racing go hand in hand

Photo  by: JohnPickenPhoto / CC BY 2.0

 

However, according to Flint it’s this association that could most put the horse racing industry at risk in the UK. Flint’s concern is that the negative view held by some leading politicians and policy makers on activities like making sports bets online, or playing a game of online poker, will overpower other perspectives when it comes to decision making  – “I think it’s a dangerous moment (for betting and racing) because there are more politicians with a very negative view of the industry than there are with a positive…

Recent changes are warning signs

Flint believes that recent changes made to real money gaming and betting policies, both here and in Europe, are warning signs that racing could be the next thing that campaigners and politicians turn their attention to.

Here in the UK, the law reducing the maximum stake allowed on Fixed Odds Betting Terminals (FOBTs) to £2 from £100 has come into force over the past few months. According to Flint, the focus is now on online gaming and football wagering, with racing likely to be next – if they’re successful…it will be on to the next thing, which could be betting on racing.”

The ban in Italy on sponsorships and advertising related to real money practices has also recently come into force, with Flint adding that should something similar happen in the UK it would take racing off terrestrial TV (and) do vast harm to racing’s finances”.

These two changes are being held up as examples of the intense scrutiny and regulation faced by sectors within the gambling industry, and as far as Flint is concerned racing won’t be immune to either. He’s calling on racing to become a “critical friend” to the industry, in order to form a new partnership to face and deal with this before it becomes the aforementioned existential risk

Will greater regulation really harm racing? 

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) recently said in response that it would continue to emphasise the importance of socially-responsible betting to the sport of racing, as well as the “significant implications” of any policy changes within the sector.

Just last year horse racing was declared a traditional pastime, which means it will be exempt from changes to rules on gambling advertising. So, will greater regulations in the UK really do harm to the finances and the future of the sport?

The speed at which the online sector has evolved means that examining existing regulations and potentially making changes is really only a matter of time – but that’s a natural response to such major developments over a relatively short period of time and it would be socially irresponsible to think otherwise. However, whether such hypothetical changes to regulation would effectively force the practice of bookmaking, and subsequently racing, out of existence is quite a dramatic overstatement.

The 2005 Gambling Act removed the distinction between the two practices of betting and gaming, so most of the campaigns for tighter regulations are actually calling for tighter boundaries between the two. It’s much more likely that the focus of future acts within the UK will actually place most of the regulation and restriction on gaming, since unlike betting it’s a sector where operators can’t lose. So if anything, both horse racing and bookmaking may benefit from those upcoming changes, not lose out.