On-course bookmakers have urged the government to loosen the restrictions on cash transactions ahead of this weekend’s Goodwood meeting.

It comes as the industry prepares to adapt to new regulations following the pandemic which will see bookmakers limited to taking bets via card payments. 

The restrictions also mean a mere four betting operators will be allowed into the track to cater for approximately 5,000 spectators. 

Robin Grossmith of the Federation Of Racecourse Bookmakers emphasised to The Guardian: “The last thing we want are problems with the trial. The DCMS probably doesn’t appreciate the difficulties we may have. This is something we are going to be talking to them about on Monday, as a matter of urgency.

“The problem is that Parliament is in recess. Who we can get hold of to make a decision, I really don’t know until we try. Our political advisors will do it for us and we’ll see where we get but the clock’s ticking down pretty quickly.

“We think if cash can be taken, it will be a success. We’re just concerned that there could be all sorts of technical problems that are beyond our control.”

He added: “Every betting shop in the High Street takes cash, every supermarket takes cash, I don’t know of a business that doesn’t. We’re working out in the open air that the Sage experts say is the safest place to be, yet cash is to be banned and we don’t understand the rationale.”

Bookmaker Simon James also told the Guardian: “I’ve timed it and it’s about 30 seconds per bet coming in. If you were to work flat out for half an hour, the gap between races, you could take 60 bets. That isn’t allowing for any payouts. 

“If the first favourite wins and you have a queue of 30 people trying to get paid, you could spend the whole of the next race’s betting time paying people out. This cannot be allowed to happen. It is a disaster waiting to happen.”