Speaking in relation to the statements published by The Jockey Club and The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) announcing record prize money contributions, Paul Bittar, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) said:
“We forecast that prize money in 2014 will reach a new record and exceed £123m, an uplift of over £10m on this year. This increase is evidence of the benefits of stronger collaboration amongst Racing’s key stakeholders together with a more constructive approach to working with the betting industry.
“The two main developments contributing to the increase have been the securing of Prize Money Agreements or commitments from racecourses and the terms of the recent Levy deal and four-year arrangement with the major bookmakers. A critical point that should not be overlooked is the increased stability that these deals provide, particularly in light of the £16m drop in prize money between 2009 and 2011 that followed a significant reduction in Levy.
“When combined with the landmark commercial Betfair agreement struck last year, the four-year Levy arrangement delivers significant value above what can rightfully be collected under the current legislation. While we will continue to pursue legislative change, the arrangement with major betting operators is significant; a conclusion that could not have been reached without the support of the Levy Board and we are grateful for their role in the process.
“We still have a long way to go to match our international competitors in terms of prize money, but the financial model of British racing is unique. To have achieved a new record in prize money against a backdrop of an out of date central funding mechanism is encouraging and we are determined to continue to work together with our stakeholders to further increase the sport’s value.”