BHB Secretary-General Tristram Ricketts, commenting on the publication today of†_x001C_A Safe Bet For Succes?_x001D_, Governmen4_x0019_s response to the report of the Gambling Review Body, said:
“We are glad to see that a significant number of Government’s proposals, particularly in the area of punter protection, reflected BHB’s initial submission to the Gambling Review Body (GRB).
“However, as we made clear when the GRB’s report was published, Racing is not afraid of competition, but it must be allowed to compete on a level playing field. Government’s acceptance of the vast majority of the GRB’s recommendations will lead to a very substantial degree of deregulation for all categories of gambling, but without commensurate measures to benefit Racing.
“Horserace betting will face sharply increased competition in a number of areas, notably from casinos while, particularly with the introduction of Jackpot machines, additional pressure will be placed on horserace betting within Licensed Betting Offices, to where the sale of Racing’s product will continue to be restricted. It is disappointing that Government should not be persuaded of the case for betting in pubs or other premises not dedicated to betting, but we note Government’s expectation that the new Gambling Commission will keep such matters under review. We shall certainly be keeping up the pressure.
“We are however pleased that Government has decided that betting on the National Lottery should not be allowed. This would have only damaged Racing’s finances.
“We also look forward to playing our part in further discussions with Government on ways in which racecourses will be able to make better use of their facilities on non-race days and will continue to press for the replacement of the outdated and restrictive rules governing the charges paid to racecourses by on-course bookmakers.”
For further information, please contact BHB Communications Manager Alan Delmonte on 020 7343 3318 or 07931 701536