Racing TV Questions Viability after Irish Gambling Ads Ban

Racecourse Media Group (RMG), the owners of Racing TV, have addressed the claim bookmaker contributions would cover revenue losses from Ireland's gambling advertisement ban in the proposed changes in the upcoming Gambling Regulation Bill.

Racing TV is not viable with the Ireland Gambling Bill.

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The Gambling Regulation Bill was first introduced in 2022 and one of the contentious issues is a proposal for a ban on gambling advertising between 5.30 am and 9 pm. The reason given by the gaming regulator for this proposal is that gambling adverts will not be shown at a time when children are likely to be able to view the ads.

Racing TV has stated that the loss of revenue it receives would mean the channel is not a viable operation to run. There has been a suggestion that the racing channels could make up the revenue with contributions from bookmakers. Racing TV say they have not entertained this idea and they believe it would be a breach of the advertising regulations.

Having bookmakers’ contributions on the channel as a replacement for ads is completely against the regulator Ofcom's advertising regulations. We can categorically say that no deals have been reached with bookmaker partners on this.

Martin StevensonChief Executive Officer of RMG

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Racing Channels to Face Challenges Following Gambling Ban

Racing TV and the other live-streaming channel Sky Sports Racing have let it be known they would no longer be able to broadcast in Ireland through the current platform, and they would be required to operate a separate channel for the Irish jurisdiction.

The racing channels in Ireland have asked for an exemption to the advertising ban, and the argument for this is because racing channels are subscription services and members must be over 18 and legally allowed to place a wager.

Faced with these challenges if the Bill passes, both Racing TV and Sky Sports Racing feel they may have to withdraw from live-streaming horse racing in Ireland due to the potential increased costs involved.

We can only reinforce our position at this stage and that we are fully supportive of the objectives of the Gambling Regulation Bill in protecting those at risk of gambling harm. However, the drafting of the bill, as it stands, means there would be substantial economic and operational challenges for broadcasters caused by the loss of gambling advertising.
The gambling advertising ban would require us to invest in a separate channel for Ireland. This is prohibitively expensive for a small, independent racecourse-owned broadcaster, like Racing TV. Our position has not changed. The drafting of the bill, as it stands, makes it unviable for Racing TV to continue broadcasting in Ireland.

Martin StevensonChief Executive Officer of RMG


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