Betting giant puts rent payments on hold following collapse of sport and horse racing

Fred Done

Salford betting firm Betfred is asking landlords for a rental holiday following the collapse of the sporting sector.

The closure of major sporting events and competitions means that the business has come to a complete halt.

According to the Manchester Evening News the firm has written to its landlords asking for a rental holiday.

Group chief operating officer Mark Stebbings has written a letter to landlords saying they have been forced to put all rental payments on hold.

Mr Stebbings wrote: “With virtually all major sporting events either being cancelled or suspended, including all British Horse Racing until at least the 30 April 2020, we have had no option but put on hold all Occupational Costs (including rents, service charge & Insurance) for our retail estate for the next scheduled payment date.

“This includes all properties due to be paid on the 25 March 2020 any properties where we currently pay on monthly terms.

“This decision has not been taken lightly and I would emphasise at this time we are not looking for a rental deduction.

“We require a rental ‘holiday’ to allow us to get over the current challenges which are unprecedented in modern times.

“Our intention is, when normal trading conditions are resumed, and the sporting calendar has returned to normal to make up the shortfall.”

“I understand this will not be welcome news, and you yourselves will be under substantial pressure caused by the Coronavirus (COVID-19).”