The impact of the ban was immediate, with The Racing Post reporting that racing vision from Lingfield, Southwell and Wolverhampton was unavailable at Ladbrokes and Coral betting shops the day after the ban was imposed. This represents a huge blow for the company, as live streaming of horse racing has developed into an essential component of bookmakers’ service offering. It has also earned credit for the substantial growth seen in online betting turnover in recent years.
The way live streaming agreements work between bookmakers and racetracks is that bookmakers pay racetracks a fee to stream races, and in turn charge customers on a ‘bet-to-view’ basis. While in the past bookmakers without ABP status have had to pay a higher price per stream, the move toward a complete blackout signals a stricter stance taken by racetracks, while also representing a new challenge to bookmakers that are unwilling to sign on to new broadcast agreements.
Ladbrokes and Coral completed a £2.3 billion merger in November 2015, which turned the new venture, Ladbrokes Coral Group plc, into the largest retail bookmaker in the United Kingdom.