07 Jul 1999 Pre-2014 Releases

The British Horseracing Board this week reiterated to parliamentarians its case for a substantial increase in the amount of money returned to racing by the betting industry through the Levy.
BHB Chairman, Peter Savill, and Chief Executive, Tristram Ricketts, addressed a private session of the All Party Racing and Bloodstock Industries Group in Westminster on Tuesday evening.
Mr Savill outlined the needs of the racing industry as defined in the BHB’s Financial Plan and reinforced the case for an additional £80m a year to be paid to racing from betting turnover at a time of substantially increased bookmaker profits. He highlighted the support for the BHB’s case in the recent independent survey of punters’ opinions, where 72% of punters said prize money in Britain was too low and 91% said the betting industry should pay more to racing from its profits.
Mr Savill said racing was at a disadvantage in the Levy negotiations because the betting industry negotiated as a monopoly through the Bookmakers’ Committee, and the procedure by which the betting industry – as the purchaser of racing’s product – tabled the initial offer was uncommercial. He called for an open debate, for a complete evaluation of racing’s needs and the bookmakers’ capacity to pay by the independent Levy Board members and for the Levy Board’s eventual decision to be fully explained.
In a complementary presentation, BHB Chief Executive, Tristram Ricketts, briefed the All Party Group on the proposal for the Tote to be transferred to the BHB, as the democratic, representative and accountable governing authority of British racing; progress towards the BHB’s target of raising an additional £25m a year through self-help; discussions with racecourses about the Fixture List for 2000; and the study commissioned by the BHB into staff resources and working arrangements, which will include the question of pension provision for stable staff.
After the meeting, Mr Savill said: “”We are grateful to the members of the All Party Group for this further opportunity to brief them on matters of the utmost importance to the future of the racing industry. It is vital that parliamentarians are kept fully informed of the latest developments and we were encouraged by the constructive nature of our discussion.””