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NEWS 15 December 2016

Sky Bet CEO claims that racing faces “an unprecedented demographic challenge”

By Caroline Watson
The Chief Executive of online bookmaker Sky Betting & Gaming (SB&G) Richard Flint, has issued a bleak reality to the UK racing industry claiming that consumer betting changes are making it difficult for the bookmaker to justify promoting the sports “from a business point of view”.

Speaking at the historic Gimcrack dinner in York, Flint claims: “A quarter of our customers are under 25. Nearly all of their betting activity is via a mobile device. Even desktop computers are old-fashioned to them.

“Those customers are 17 times more likely to bet only on football than only on racing. Racing is the favourite sport of just 13% of these customers. That’s a third of the number of the over-55s.”

As the head of one of Britain’s biggest online betting firms, Flint has warned the racing industry that it faces “an unprecedented demographic challenge” as it seeks to attract millennials to bet on a sport that is no longer a preference to younger customers.

Flint adds that he fears the sport is on the verge of pricing itself out of the market, saying that his firm has made “four times as much on £10 bet on football as we do on racing”.

Whilst the future may look bleak for the racing industry, Flint believes that if racing and betting industry stakeholders work together, they will be able to find a viable solution for the future of UK horse racing.
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