Ascot hosted six of the top 10 most valuable British flat races in 2014

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Ascot a significant contributor to local and national economy

Britain’s premier horse racing venue is an important contributor to the economy, with £138m direct expenditure generated last year, Deloitte reports

Friday 05 December 2014

Ascot Racecourse, world-famous home of the “sport of kings”, is a financial powerhouse generating hundreds of millions of pounds of economic activity.

Thousands of jobs and a tax contribution of more than £65 million over the past five years form just part of the impact of the renowned Berkshire horseracing venue, according to a new report from Deloitte’s Sports Business Group.

“The racecourse hosted six of the top ten most valuable British flat races - in terms of prize money - in 2014,” says the report. “British Champions Day provides the highest prize money on a single day’s racing in Britain.”

“Ascot fixtures provided £13.3 million - 12% - of the total £114.2 million prize money in British horseracing.”

Best attended racing festival in Europe

The total expenditure generated by the racecourse, exceeded £138m, comprising over £70m direct and £68m off-course.

This, in turn, led to a tax contribution of over £14m in 2014; made up of employment taxes on those who work at Ascot, VAT and the gross profits tax that is levied on off-course bookmakers.

On this last point, off-course betting turnover generated by Ascot events ran at more than £350 million last year,
generating Gross Profits Tax of over £3m.

Royal Ascot - a high point of the British sporting summer and the signature fixture at the Racecourse - dominates the attendance figures. It drew 279,000 people in 2013 out of a total annual attendance of 573,000; 10% of the total 5.7 million attendance for British racing.

“Royal Ascot is the best-attended racing festival in Europe and in the top-three best attended ticketed annual British sporting events,” says the report.

It is the busiest period in the venue’s year and sees employment rise from 100 permanent staff plus a further 40 or more employed by the catering company - to a total of more than 4,600, with numbers swelled by casual race-day workers and caterers.

Financial breakdown

Of the £138 million expenditure generated in 2013, Deloitte has broken this down into:

  • admission fees and similar spending, worth £32 million;
  • catering, worth £22 million;
  • on-course betting, totalling £2 million;
  • “media, sponsorship and other commercial”, totalling £8 million;
  • distributions of the levy collected from the gross profits of horserace betting and spent to help improve horseracing and horse breeding and contribute to veterinary research and education, totalling £3 million.

Non-racing expenditure of a further £1.3 million takes the total direct racecourse expenditure to £70.3 million. Deloitte found that race-goers then spent another £68 million away from the course.

The expenditure generated has been significantly enhanced by the £220m redevelopment of the grandstand – the largest single investment in British racing – which was completed in 2006 - which, at £220 million, was the largest single investment in British racing.

The report concludes: “Ascot Racecourse is Britain’s premier horseracing venue, having staged the highest quality racing for over 300 years. While racing is at its core, the Racecourse has long been synonymous with royalty, fashion and the best of British culture.

“The Racecourse plays a critical part in the high regard in which British Racing is held internationally.”

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Copyright Press Association 2014
 

Ascot Racecourse is Britain’s premier horseracing venue, having staged the highest quality racing for over 300 years.

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