Cheltenham Racecourse has been granted an injunction by the High Court to ban ticket touts.

The injunction will go into effect immediately and will run through to June 2019, covering the racecourse’s full season. Ian Renton, the Jockey Club’s South West regional director, said the ruling was a “landmark decision” for sport, with any infraction resulting in prison sentences of up to two years.

He said: “We welcome the judgement of Mr Justice Nugee at the High Court, when an injunction was granted against ticket touting at Cheltenham racecourse. This prohibits the selling and buying of tickets by touts on racecourse property, and we welcome this landmark decision.

“It’s the first time any such injunction has been granted to prevent touting at a racecourse. 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.”

It is believed ticket touts cost the Jockey Club £1 million each year at events such as the Cheltenham Festival, the Derby meeting at Epsom and the Grand National at Aintree. Renton revealed more than 150 touts operated at the festival in March, using a variety of methods, including printing thousands of fake cardboard badges.

Image: PA/Cheltenham Festival