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Grand National cancellation set to hit industry extremely hard


  • The cancellation of the Grand National has been a massive blow to the betting industry
  • An estimated £500 million will be lost with bookies losing around £400 million
  • Losses of around £60 million are projected for The Jockey Club, Aintree and the City of Liverpool
  • The 2020 Grand National has been a victim of the coronavirus pandemic


It has been estimated that the cancellation of the 2020 Randox Health Grand National – due to be held on Saturday 4th April – will cost around £500 million in lost revenues. The bookmakers will undoubtedly be by far the hardest hit by the cancellation of the three-day festival which usually generates for them a betting turnover of over £400 million. Indeed this is always the biggest horse race of the year and easily the most lucrative racing event with a massive TV audience tuning in from around the globe.

The impact of cancelling the festival for the first time since the Second World War will also have a massive impact on Liverpool as well as Aintree Racecourse and The Jockey Club with an estimated £60 million in lost revenues.

This year’s renewal of the Grand National promised to be a thriller with all eyes set to be fixed on Tiger Roll, the Gordon Elliott-trained runner bidding to become the first ever horse to win the race three times in succession, something that even Red Rum failed to achieve.

Bookmakers expected to see £300 million being wagered on the famous steeplechase, well in excess of the £250 million which was bet over the entire four days of the Cheltenham Festival a few weeks ago. The three-day Aintree meeting was set to open the gates to crowds of over 155,000 with the Grand National day itself sold out well in advance. The loss of tickets as well as hospitality packages will cost the Jockey Club-owned racecourse around £20 million with all ticket money in the process of being refunded.

The BHA (British Horseracing Authority) have been discussing the possibility of resuming the sport behind closed doors on 1st May, however much will clearly depend on the coronavirus situation at that time. Aintree will be closely watching developments as they are set to host a meeting on 15th May, however as things stand this remains very much in doubt.

The 2021 Grand National is due to take place on 10th April 2021 with tickets set to be released in just 0ver three months’ time.