Cheltenham Racecourse has been successful in obtaining a ground-breaking High Court injunction banning ticket touts from the track.
The landmark ruling for the course, which is classed as the home of National Hunt racing, was enforced ahead of the season’s Showcase meeting that took place on 26th and 27th October and will last for the entire season.
The Jockey Club estimates that ticket touts cost the firm over £1 million per year at big events hosted at their racecourses, including the Epsom Derby, Cheltenham Festival and Grand National.
It was also revealed that more than 150 touts were in action at the Cheltenham Festival last year, using methods such as printing fake cardboard badges, with many racegoers left out of pocket after paying for tickets at the gates only to find they have already been used.
The racecourse battled to tackle touts last year by working with Cheltenham council to issue public space protection orders in the town and at the racecourse. However, the maximum fines of only £80 proved an ineffectual deterrent.
Cheltenham boss Ian Renton praised the verdict as a landmark decision for the sport.
Mr Renton said: “We welcome the judgement of Mr Justice Nugee at the High Court today when an injunction was granted against ticket touting at Cheltenham racecourse.
“This prohibits the selling and buying of tickets by touts on racecourse property, and we welcome this landmark decision.
“It’s the first time any such injunction has been granted to prevent touting at a racecourse. It will take effect from this weekend and will remain in place for the whole season.
“This is the next step in seeking to reduce, and where possible eliminate, the unpleasant and often criminal activities of touts that undermine the enjoyment of our racegoers.”
Many organisers of Britain’s top sporting events and venues including Wimbledon, Wembley Stadium and Six Nations Rugby will have a keen interest in the ruling after being plagued with touts similarly to Cheltenham racecourse.
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