Ladbrokes: will be forced to close their shops by Arc
By Jon Lees 7:08PM 25 JAN 2017
LADBROKES have been ordered to close all their betting shops on six Arena Racing Company-run tracks in a dramatic escalation of the dispute over new betting shop channel The Racing Partnership (TRP).
The bookmaker has been told the betting outlets at Doncaster, Wolverhampton, Lingfield, Worcester, Southwell and Windsor will not be allowed to operate for an indefinite period.
It follows the issuing of legal proceedings by TRP against Ladbrokes and other major high street bookmakers who have yet to sign up to its service over claims the firms are misusing their data by providing offtube commentary.
The closures come into force from Friday with the first meetings affected at Doncaster, where Ladbrokes have three outlets, and Lingfield. Both tracks race on Friday and Saturday.
Claims have been made in the High Court of Justice Chancery Division involving Coral, Ladbrokes, Coral-Ladbrokes Group plc, as well as Betfred and SIS.
Dispute set for the courts
Since the start of this year pictures from six courses – Doncaster, Lingfield, Southwell, Windsor, Wolverhampton and Worcester – have been seen only in betting shops whose owners have done a deal with TRP, which represents the 15 Arena Racing Company courses and seven independents. The remaining 16 tracks will leave SIS to join TRP from the start of 2018.
Ladbrokes are the only bookmakers with shops on those six Arena tracks and director of media David Williams said: “We have recently been informed that our on-course shops would need to close as a result of the ongoing media rights discussion with TRP. They will remain closed indefinitely.”
The impasse has left the three major high street firms without any action from British courses on some days as a result of which they have resorted to other ways of providing a service to their customers, including offtube commentaries, the legality of which is understood to be under examination by TRP.
William Hill were the latest retail chain to agree a long-term media rights deal with TRP, which means more than 4,000 betting shops in Britain and Ireland are able to show the service.
Arc declined to comment on Wednesday night.