Commenting on the charges to be paid by on-course bookmakers under the next Levy Scheme, BHB Communications Manager Alan Delmonte said today:
“Under the terms of the recently agreed 2003/04 Levy Scheme, on-course bookmakers will be required to pay 10% of their gross profits in exactly the same way as do off-course bookmakers at present. This becomes effective on 1st April 2003.
“These terms were recommended by the Bookmakers’ Committee. The Bookmakers’ Committee was clear in making its recommendations that it saw no reason why on-course bookmakers should pay at a lower level of charge or levy than off-course bookmakers and so in this, as in other, respects the Levy Scheme should mirror BHB’s licensing policy. The terms proposed by the Bookmakers’ Committee were then adopted by the Levy Board, which includes betting industry appointees, at the end of October. It is therefore wholly wrong to intimate that they have been introduced solely at the request of BHB.
“Under these new arrangements, the current £15 per day which bookmakers pay in respect of pre-race data and the £132 annual flat-rate contribution to the Levy will no longer be payable.
“Following discussion with the Bookmakers’ Committee, BHB agreed that the 2003/04 Scheme should include a concession so that an on-course bookmaker should be allowed to aggregate the profits and losses of all pitches occupied in order to reach an overall profit figure. The Bookmakers’ Committee’s consequent recommendation that this be reflected in the Levy Scheme was accepted by the Levy Board.
“BHB’s licensing policy also includes a commitment that any increase in the racecourse admission charge to on-course bookmakers of five times the admission cost would be matched by a corresponding decrease in BHB’s charge.
“What Racing – not just BHB – is seeking is a fair price for its product. There can be no question of BHB intending to put on-course bookmakers out of business, nor do we, or indeed the Levy Board or Bookmakers’ Committee as far as we understand, believe that this will be a consequence of the introduction of a gross profits charging basis.”