Newbury Racecourse
Newbury MP reassures Lambourn trainers on affordability of gambling in racing

Newbury MP reassures Lambourn trainers on affordability of gambling in racing

Laura Farris, whose constituency includes Newbury racecourse, recently attended a meeting with trainers at the Jockey Club Estates base next to the gallops in Upper Lambourn. Among the attendees were six-time champion jumps trainer Nicky Henderson, William Muir, Jonathan Portman, Jamie Snowden, George Noad representing the National Trainers Federation, Tarnya Sherwood, Jockey Club’s Will Riggall, Lambourn Trainers Association chairman Merrick Francis, and Paul Hearn, who heads the West Berkshire Conservative Association. During the meeting, topics such as planning permission, staffing issues, and levy reform were discussed, with a focus on the impact of intrusive affordability checks.

The racing industry fears a significant reduction in funding as a result of the proposals set out by the government in its gambling white paper last year. Farris emphasized the need to reassure the racing industry that they will not be disproportionately affected by these affordability checks, highlighting that problem gambling is mainly concentrated in online casino and slot-type games, with less resonance in the racing sector. She stressed the importance of gambling as the lifeblood of racing and the need for the voices of the trainers to be reflected and heard in future decisions.

Farris also highlighted the significance of racing to the area, stating that it is at the heart of west Berkshire and plays a vital role in its history. She expressed concerns about the serious implications of the affordability checks, stating that they could potentially have the capacity to threaten the existence of racing altogether. Merrick Francis commended Farris for her support and efforts on behalf of the racing community, expressing confidence in her ability to help address the concerns related to the affordability checks.

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