Cheltenham Festival organiser, Jockey Club Racecourses (JCR) appears to be at loggerheads with Ladbrokes regarding the operator’s sponsorship of Grade 1 event ‘The World Hurdle Race (15.30 – St Patricks Thursday 17 March).
Ladbrokes continued stand-off against UK racing’s proposed Authorised Betting Partner (ABP) scheme, has seen the bookmaker unable to renew its eleven year sponsorship of the race.
JCR a key stakeholder in the UK racings new levy system, which aims to charge licensed operators a 7.5% tax on racing revenues generated via digital channels, has firmly adopted ABP policies banning sponsorship of associated events by non-contributing bookmakers.
Ladbrokes refusal to commit to ABP scheme, sees Cheltenham’s World Hurdle Race without an official sponsor, with less than eight weeks to go before the Festivals start date (Tuesday 15 March)
UK racing news sources have speculated that ABP approved bookmakers Betfair, 32Red and bet365 will likely move to become the hurdle race’s title sponsor.
JCR governance has reaffirmed that it will not be moved on its stance regarding sponsorship, and that its actions serve the best interests for UK racings long term future. .
Ladbrokes refusal to join the ABP, will see Festival lose its second long-term bookmaker partnership, with Betfred ending its association with the Cheltenham Gold Cup this November. JCR would replace Betfred with business IP hosting provider Timico.