British Horseracing Authority chief executive Paul Bittar told Reuters on Tuesday that he believes the sport can overcome the negative publicity it has taken in recent months following equine and human drug scandals—provided authorities handle those scandals effectively.
For a sport that relies on sponsorships and wagering revenue, the public's confidence is crucial.
“I have spoken to a number of major sponsors and other investors in the sport over the last six weeks and for them ultimately it comes down to a confidence in the sport itself,” Bittar said.
BHA also announced that the sport's total value in the United Kingdom added up to 3.45 billion pounds, or $5.36 billion last year, demonstrating that so far, it has weathered the economic recession well. An increase in the value of media rights was key to off-setting the effects of a down economy. The report also noted however, that the move of many bookmakers to off-shore operations has resulted in a reduced flow of funding to the sport.
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