Cheltenham achieves landmark tout ban ruling

25 Oct 2018

By: Sport Industry Group

The High Court has granted Cheltenham Racecourse a ground-breaking, season-long injunction, banning ticket touts at the venue until June 2019.

The ruling follows a fierce legal battle and comes into effect ahead of the first meeting of the national hunt season at Cheltenham this weekend.

Anyone caught flouting the ban – which prohibits both buying and selling by touts on the Jockey Club-owned property – faces up to two years in jail.

Cheltenham’s regional director Ian Renton welcomed the unprecedented judgment, adding: “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.

 "We are grateful for the full support of Cheltenham Borough Council and Gloucestershire Police in seeking this injunction.

“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.”

Cheltenham is home to the UK’s most popular jump racing festival, which takes place in March every year.

Renton claims the event has typically seen 150 touts operate at the venue, with previous attempts to clamp down on touting using public space protection orders proving ineffective.

The Jockey Club estimates that the illegal activity costs the organisation up to £1million each year across its racecourse portfolio.

Judge Mr Justice Nugee's ruling may give rise to similar action from other UK sport and major event rightsholders, who have been following the case.