Royal Ascot Carnage For Bookmakers

Bookmakers were today still counting the cost of last week’s Royal meeting which is estimated to have cost the industry £50M . During the five day Festival there were thirteen winning favourites and only six horses managed to win all week at odds of 10/1 or higher . The Saturday of the Royal meeting which is traditionally the biggest betting day was particuarly difficult for the bookies with three well backed favourites obliging in the middle of the card .

William Hill spokesman David Hood summed up the mood ”It has been carnage, no other word for it,“ he said. George Primarolo spokesman for UK bookmaker Totesport which is owned by the British Government tried to put the damaging results into context “ At this rate, we’ll need Honduras to win the World Cup to make the balance sheet look respectable.“

Whilst bookmakers were suffering Ascot officials were very pleased with attendance throughout the week particuarly on the Friday , which saw a 19% increase on 2009 . It seems that with the recession largely over in the UK more customers are feeling sufficiently confident to spend more money on enjoying themselves .

Ascot’s chief executive Charles Barnett said that ”we were very pleased with the attendance because we knew that some days would be less than last year “ .

The Royal Ascot Festival is the summer showpiece of British Racing and the flat racing equivalent of the National Hunt Festival staged at Cheltenham in March each year . The 2011 Cheltenham Festival gets underway on Tuesday 15th March 2011 and Bookmakers will be hoping for results similar to 2010 which proved to be very lucrative unlike the flat racing counterpart .

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