BHA reaction to Chancellor George Osborne’s 2014 Autumn Statement

03 Dec 2014 Financial/Political

This afternoon, as part of the Autumn Statement, HM Treasury has announced that the Government will proceed with a further consultation process on the replacement of the Horserace Betting Levy with a Racing Right early in 2015.

Steve Harman, Chairman of the British Horseracing Authority, said:

“This is extremely positive news for British Racing, and all those connected with the sport. We have a landmark opportunity to secure a modern, fair and sustainable funding mechanism, and generate future growth and more jobs in our industry, greater returns to our participants and a new partnership with the Betting industry.

“British Racing looks forward to engaging constructively with Government and the Betting industry in the consultation process early next year, and in particular will demonstrate how an enforceable replacement for the Levy can genuinely work for all parties.

“Today’s announcement in the Autumn Statement comes on the back of a concerted effort across British Racing to show the depth and breadth of support for the vital improvements to our central funding model. We greatly appreciate the support which we have received to date from Parliamentarians across all political parties, and in particular I would like to thank Helen Grant MP, Minister for Sport, Tourism and Equalities, for her efforts in moving matters forward at great pace.”

Notes to Editors

  1. The full text of the 2014 Autumn Statement, and accompanying documentation, can be found at:
  2. The Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has held two consultation processes in 2014 relating to the Horserace Betting Levy:
    • Extending the Horserace Betting Levy: a consultation on implementation – A consultation on the technicalities surrounding extension of the Horserace Betting Levy to offshore based remote gambling operators, a loophole which is estimated to cost the British Racing industry more than £20 million annually
    • Modernising the Horserace Betting Levy: a consultation on reform or replacement – A consultation on either reforming the Horserace Betting Levy, or replacing it with a bespoke, statutory framework between Racing and Betting, to provide a mechanism which is fair, enforceable, sustainable, legally sound and removes the Government as far as possible.
  3. British Racing has called for the replacement of the Horserace Betting Levy, in place since the 1960s, with a bespoke, statutory solution reflecting the specific synergies between Racing and Betting and which allows British Racing to authorise all betting activity on the sport in return for an appropriate financial contribution from betting operators towards its administration, integrity and future development.