British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Chairman, Steve Harman, is taking up a new industry wide role to engage with Government to tackle the potential impact of last week’s FOBT announcement – which threatens £40 to £60 million of income per annum to the industry.
Mr Harman’s role will change towards the end of 2018 to allow him to focus on the industry’s biggest financial priority: he wishes to work exclusively on Levy development with Westminster and mitigating the risks to the industry around the changes announced last week on FOBTs.
Steve will stand down from his role as BHA Chairman in November 2018 and then work exclusively in this new role through 2019. A formal process to recruit a new Chair of the Board will start shortly.
Mr Harman said, “This is the single biggest issue facing our industry and I welcome the opportunity to galvanise support to get the best possible deal for horseracing. This could mean a further reform of the levy to capture overseas betting and other changes we could seek to ensure that the funding of racing is secured for the future.”
The BHA’s shareholders, the ROA, TBA, RCA and Licensed Personnel said, “The potential impact of reducing revenue to racing because of the FOBT announcement is a major issue for the industry. It is vital that we work together across the sport and with government to make the appropriate changes to ensure the future funding of the sport”.
The BHA Board has now set aside the Article 51 complaint against Mr Harman. Mr Harman has apologised for inaccuracies in his initial explanations to the Board relating to an article in the Times newspaper. The Board confirmed that an independent review carried out concluded that there had been no conflict of interest.
A BHA spokesman said: “We are pleased this matter has now been closed and we can focus on the BHA’s core responsibilities of the regulation and governance of British Racing.”