The huge lack of sporting action to choose from will be one of the hardest hitting factors of the current pandemic for many, with the vast majority of sports now on lockdown due to the extraordinary circumstances involved.
That has left slim pickings for sports enthusiasts when it comes to viewing live action, with a peak at a bookmakers website showing that the public really do have slim pickings in the sporting world.
However, that need for some escapism in these testing times was certainly brought to the fore over the weekend, as Irish racing provided a much-needed distraction for many from the doom and gloom of quarantine life.
Racing was broadcast live on ITV from Thurles on Saturday and figures highlighted the thirst for some sporting action amongst the public, with betting trends spiking significantly from the previous year’s meeting.
Five of the seven races run at Thurles were shown live on ITV and viewing figures reflected what a relief it was to many to have racing continue behind closed doors in Ireland.
That too relates to those who like to have a flutter on the races, with Betfair Exchange receiving a 192 per cent increase in betting volume in their win markets across the seven-race card. In total £8m was staked across Saturday’s televised action at Thurles.
Betfair spokesman Barry Orr told the Racing Post: "The numbers show people are engaged with racing and want that distraction.
"It was the only show in town and being on ITV is a massive help. It was light relief and offered a thread of normality and something for people to look forward to."
With all racing suspended in the United Kingdom until further notice, with that including the cancellation of the famous Grand National meeting at Aintree, we should expect to see the spike and interest levels in Irish racing to continue. This week alone there are meetings in Ireland at Naas, Dundalk, Cork and Curragh to keep racing punters occupied.
The huge increase in betting was also discussed by Paddy Power spokesman Paul Burfield, who said: Paddy Power also reported strong business, and spokesman Paul Binfield said: "As the racing was mostly competitive, it proved an attractive betting proposition for punters even considering it was the only meeting on. With our retail estate not being open, it’s hard to gauge how much more we would have turned over.
"But in the end we turned over four times the amount we did on the same meeting last year with the 4.10 topping it turnover-wise [five times more than last year]." You can still safely play at home with massive offers from bonuscode.co.uk