Famed English bookmaker William Hill has canceled its sponsorship with local horse race track Lincoln Handicap. The sponsorship was canceled after a seemingly smooth nine year relationship.
According to the company, the end of the sponsorship had more to do with new laws in the UK requiring offshore gambling operations to pay taxes than any problems with the Lincoln Handicap relationship. With increased scrutiny and less cash, William Hill decided it best to cut the sponsorship. The Gambling Tax Reform implemented in December 2014 will have a large impact on the finances of all bookmakers in the UK.
On balance, the company surveyed its marketing investments and found that the Lincoln Handicap was less effective than other campaigns. This assessment bodes ill for sponsorship with other horse race tracks or the state of horse racing in general.
Will horse racing bounce back? Lincoln Handicap has existed in different forms since its first race in 1849. It has been at its current location in Doncaster since 1964.
With new law, many smaller online gambling operations in the UK believe that it will be harder to maintain profitability. If those smaller online books can’t stay open, their customers will be driven to different places to gamble.
Will those customers go to bigger online gambling shops such as William Hill? Or will they go to the race tracks to give them a needed boost.
Overall, sponsorship cancellation will have an impact on Lincoln Handicap’s financial performance. The action comes as an indirect, yet powerful effect of the new regulation for offshore gambling firms. It is likely that these effects will continue to resonate in the gambling community throughout the year as companies adjust to the new financial picture.