William Hill will trial £1k minimum bet guarantee for ITV horse races

William Hill plc is set to trial a minimum bet guarantee that will enable online customers to win up to £1,000 on horse races that are shown on terrestrial channel ITV.

A jockey riding a horse at a racetrack

Bet restrictions from operators have become a hot topic among horse racing enthusiasts. © Pexels.

The bookmaker will roll out a trial of the service this week. The guarantee will enter into force at 10am on the day of a race.

Bets to lose up to £1,000 will be laid by the operator online, while William Hill will lay bets to lose up to £5,000 in its high-street shops.

Customers will have the choice to take the early price or get the guaranteed minimum bet on the raceday five days before each race.

A minimum bet rule was introduced in Australia in 2014 in New South Wales, with the country leading the way in this area.

Stakeholders have lobbied for a minimum bet guarantee in horse racing in the UK for some time and this move will be welcomed.

Customers too have expressed a growing distaste at about restrictions on bets, with many reporting that online operators have refused their stakes and instead offered very low stake limits.

Terry Pattinson, Group trading director at William Hill, said:

William Hill recognise that some customers are frustrated by not being able to get a sizeable bet on televised races, while we also want to ensure that early prices are there for our recreational customers and are not picked off by the few. We hope this offer appeals to both groups and the bet guarantee will apply to customers who may have been restricted in the past.Terry Pattinson , Group trading director at William Hill

Could a minimum bet law be introduced?

Earlier this year, MPs debated introducing a minimum bet in parliament.

Philip Davies, co-chair of the All-Party Betting and Gaming Group (APBGG), chaired the meeting, which consisted of MPs and key industry figures. The meeting had the ultimate goals of discussing restrictions on customers accounts and also operators closing the accounts of customers unlawfully.

The minimum bet rule would mean that bookmakers must lay a price to lose a specific sum. Since its introduction in Australia, it has proved effective and worked relatively easily and without problems. It has also been well received by betting fans.

Progress will be slow, but government seems to be taking an interest in restrictions some punters face when betting online.

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