How the horse racing industry is preparing to get back on the saddle

How the horse racing industry is preparing to get back on the saddle

© Capture BFM Business
Cyril Linette, managing director of PMU

Since March 17, the horse racing industry has stopped. But it could well be one of the first sports to catch a glimpse of the light at the end of the track. In a press release, the Minister of Action and Public Accounts, Gérald Darmanin, as well as the Minister of Agriculture, Didier Guillaume, indicated that horse racing could probably resume on Monday, May 11, the day of deconfinement. What reassure actors like the PMU, specialized in horse racing.

On BFM Business in the program “12 Heure – L’Heure H” this Tuesday, Cyril Linette sees in this decision the possibility of setting out again.

To be careful

“We have to be very careful of course. We are not yet on May 11 but theoretically, the races will resume on May 11,” he explains. “

“Why? Because the racing companies with the PMU do not organize the races. The PMU is the betting operator. The racing companies are very professional companies which organize 15 to 20,000 races per year in places which are fairly well secured. (…) It is technically possible to organize – even in a post-confinement period with very strict traffic and parking rules – (…) races in a secure manner in health terms “, details the boss of PMU.

-90% of daily turnover

And to clarify: “So this is what the racing companies are doing their best to do, this is what they will do from next week and obviously the PMU can only support this very professional initiative because “We want to resume activity. Today, we have a betting activity on races abroad in the few countries that have not interrupted the organization of races. But that represents (…) barely 10% of our turnover. So yes, PMU obviously wants to resume as quickly as possible, “he admits.

In an interview granted in mid-April on RTL, Cyril Linette explained that the PMU had lost, since the beginning of the confinement and the closing of the racetracks, “90% of its daily turnover”.

A model of autonomy?

As for the leading players in French horse racing, LeTrot and France Galop, the suspension of racing is a real blow. In particular because it is the PMU which finances the sector by redistributing the money from bets during competitions. Many of the stables are very small businesses, and many today find themselves in a problematic financial position with no cash flow.

“How does the horse racing sector work? It organizes races. These races generate bets. And it is these bets that finance it. It is a sector which, for the past ten years, has been very responsible, very autonomous , which has found its economic model: race organizations, race bets and redistribution to the industry. However, race bets are only made at 4% in racetracks. So in fact most of the activity is on the internet and in points of sale. So the double problem for the PMU is of course that the products are restarting (French shopping), but also that our stores are reopening, that is to say all the points of sale. (…) Little by little, we are going to take back both our flagship product (French races) and then our distribution network. And that’s where the turnover of PMU “, he concludes.


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