The decision came in response to the government’s announcement earlier this week that fans would be permitted to return to sports events in certain areas of England from next week.
As confirmed by the government, England will exit its second national novel coronavirus (Covid-19) lockdown on 2 December, after which the country will return to the three-tiered system that was in place prior to locking down on 5 November.
Sports venues located in areas within tiers one and two will be able to welcome fans for the first time since mid-March, albeit in limited numbers.
A maximum of 4,000 spectators, or 50% of a venue’s capacity, will be allowed at outdoor stadiums in tier one, with this reduced to 2,000 fans at venues in tier two. Sports event will remain behind closed doors in tier three regions.
In anticipation of the return of spectators in tier one and two areas, the ARC said that it would not charge bookmakers for being present at racing events in these regions.
“We will waive the entrance and marketing fees for any of ARC’s 52 horseracing meetings from December 2 to the end of the year at which we can admit spectators,” ARC’s racing division managing director Mark Spincer said.
“Equally, we will look at what we can do from January 2021 onwards to work with and support our colleagues in the betting ring.”
On-course bookmaker Keith Johnson welcomed the news, saying the temporary waiving of fees will benefit the industry and help it recover from Covid-19.
“As restrictions are eased, we can start to look to the future with more confidence and work together to bring a bit of a buzz back to the betting ring once more,” Johnson said.