After a short trial of lunchtime race meetings, online bookmakers have expressed that they wish for the trial to be extended following the support of The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB).
The trial received the backing of the HBLB with the intention of boosting the revenue that could be generated over the lunchtime period for both on-course and off-course bookmakers.
The lunchtime fixtures have been allocated by moving one afternoon fixture to an earlier start time, extending the time-period during the day in which racing is made accessible to punters.
Operations Manager at the HBLB, Tom Byrne, commented: “The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) agreed to support a trial of Lunchtime Racing as a recommendation from its Betting Liaison Group, the industry committee that is developing a betting strategy for the sport.
“Lunchtime racing is seen as a potential opportunity to provide content at a time when customers are looking for suitable betting events.
“Bookmakers have suggested to Racing that this time slot will capitalise on peak footfall in betting shops, while also providing opportunities for digital customers at a time when a significant number may have the opportunity to place bets and watch.”
Paddy Power is reported to have benefited from the lunchtime trial with a turnover increase of between 10 and 15 per cent for the first two races at Nottingham during the trial.
Byrne added: “This trial will provide evidence to HBLB. The effect of spreading racing over a longer time span, combined with extended gaps between the remaining afternoon races, will also be assessed so that performance across the whole day, not only for the lunchtime fixtures in isolation, can be measured.
“The vast majority of Levy income is generated by off-course betting, rather than on-course, and feedback has suggested that there are some early positive signs but full analysis of the data when available will be carried out before HBLB can draw any firmer conclusions.”