The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) says the confirmation that the Grand National will take place on 10 April is a “disappointing blow.”
The statement comes after the Jockey Club announced that the race will go ahead on the planned date, as opposed to 12 April, when UK betting shops will have reopened under the Government’s roadmap out of lockdown.
BGC chief executive Michael Dugher earlier this week said delaying the event by two days would “provide a massive boost to the nation’s morale,” but the Jockey Club has rejected such a delay. One major factor in the decision is that the 12 April date for reopening non-essential retail has not been officially confirmed by the Government.
Responding to the Jockey Club’s announcement, Dugher said: “Whilst we of course respect the decision of the Jockey Club, this news is nonetheless a disappointing blow. Briefly delaying the race could have provided a much-needed boost to racing, to the high street and to millions of punters who support this great sport.
“Races are routinely rescheduled, including most recently because of bad weather. Of course there is always a risk with any decision, but I regret that a ‘can do’ approach did not prevail in this instance.
“This decision will also surprise many people who understand the challenging financial climate racing currently faces.”