Who would have thought that in 2020 we would see the cancellation of the Grand National? First started in 1839 and going strong for a whopping 181 years, yet it had to be COVID-19 to halt this annual British tradition. The question here is, what is this cancellation going to cost to bookies and betting sites across the globe, but mainly in the United Kingdom? The truth is both the gambling sites and also land-based bookies are set to face a loss of 100 million in total, which let’s face it, is quite a substantial amount—the first cancellation since the Second World War.
At first, the Grand National opted to have the races held behind closed doors, but following the PM Boris Johnson’s stance on the coronavirus battle, it seems the race was canceled altogether.
When the Coronavirus hit home, the British Horseracing Authority, the body that regulates all the horseracing, advised that they will push for the race to go ahead. On the other hand, Jockey Club Racing pushed for it to be canceled altogether. And with betting sites and shops paying the price, the cancellation went ahead.
Other incidents happened in 1997. Do you remember the days when the IRA was still going strong, and threats followed just like a typical day? Well, that had caused two days of the Grand National to be canceled. But let’s face the truth, how was gambling on the Grand National in 1997? Were there enough betting sites and land-based shops to see such a loss that we are facing today? Also, in 1993 a void race status was announced after a much-deliberated false start. On the other hand, the last time that the race was completed canceled altogether was 1945. This dear reader shows you the severity of the situation we are in.
Betting industry leaders who know the gambling scene inside out believe that the latest stint, or shall we say cancellation, will cost the industry a whopping 100m. We are not talking 10k, not 15k but a solid 100Million. That is no joke. It could cost jobs, sites to close, and the loss of odds compiling.
It is the sad truth that the Coronavirus brought in, apart from the hardcore health threats that the world is facing. When it comes to sportsbook betting, we have already seen a decline in football betting, sporting events, and many more. Let’s face it betting turnover that the Grand National brings to the table is one of the biggest across the globe, not just in the UK but across the world. Many sports betting sites love the Grand National days and the hype leading to the event. Why? It is a way to engage with gamblers (using bonuses, freebets, etc.), apart from seeing the income coming in at a steady pace. Unfortunately, not this year.
Both the Unibet and the Betfair CEO; s spoke publicly about the stress of the cancellation of the Grand National, yet they appreciate that this is a decision that needed to be made. With the cancellation of the Euro 2020, the Premier League, and potentially even the Olympic Games, gambling sites and companies are feeling the strain. Yet, everyone appreciates that health comes first. We have seen many players in the British Premier League contracting the virus, so the cancellation of major sports events at this point is a must. An appeal by major sites and entities is to make sure that all gambling outlets adhere to the guidelines imposed. The message is clear; we can get through this together. We must follow the rules now if we want a Grand National in the future years to come.
Betfred officials and also Ladbrokes Coral members chimed in. Although the situation is a major hindrance to betting establishments and betting sites alike, public health should be at the forefront. While major jockeys have always wanted a comeback, the comeback time and topping the Grand National Charts is not now. Now is the time where people stay at home to contain health risks. Tiger Roll and his promise to knock Red Rum off his high pedestal would need to wait. In the meantime, we shall keep our bets put!