At its Central Economic and Social Committee meeting today, France Galop’s management presented a project for the restructuring of its activities at Maisons-Laffitte. The initiative forms part of a transformation project embarked on at the start of 2016 and which seeks to adapt horse racing’s organisation model to structural developments in the gambling market and to prepare the ground for a sustainable relaunch of horse race betting.
The project involves the following:
Rescaling and modernising the Maisons-Laffitte Training Centre thanks to an investment of around €1.5m designed to ensure it continues to operate. Though the Training Centre is designed to allow 1,500 horses to train there at any one time, it is home to fewer than 500 at the moment. The adjustment to its actual level of activity will lead to a significant reduction in operating costs.
Halting “horse racing” activities at the Maisons-Laffitte racecourse at the end of 2019 (some 24 race days remain on the 2019 calendar).
Since 2011, horse racing has had to contend with the profound transformation of the gambling market. In the space of eight years the amount wagered on horse racing in France has fallen 1.9bn.
As a result of the drop in betting revenue, which accounts for more than 90% of its financial resources, France Galop recorded a deficit of €119m between 2014 and 2017.
France Galop drew up a transformation plan, several key phases of which have already been implemented. The transformation plan continues today with a project for the rescaling and modernisation of the Training Centre. This project would lead to the loss of 31 jobs at the Maisons-Laffitte site and would be implemented through an Employment Protection Plan (PSE), following a process of information/consultation with staff representative bodies. Measures for supporting employees affected by the workforce reduction will be discussed with social partners.
France Galop will also make specific resources available in support of a plan for restructuring the Maisons-Laffitte racecourse site, in partnership with the local council and stakeholders.