BHB has received notification from lawyers representing the Federation of Racecourse Bookmakers. As a matter of clarification, BHB has requested the Federation to detail how many racecourse bookmakers it represents.
In the notification, the Federation lays claim to copyright on betting shows. BHB does not lay claim to copyright on betting shows nor does it derive income from selling information relating to betting shows. BHB derives its income from the sale of pre race data.
The matter of ownership of betting shows is therefore most likely to be a matter for racecourses with regard to conditions of entry to a racecourse. If the racecourse bookmakers establish copyright in betting shows, it would then be a matter for off course bookmakers who use the betting shows as to whether and on what terms they wanted to continue to use them.
In these circumstances, no doubt off course bookmakers will then decide whether or not to develop alternatives as they have suggested in the past.
As far pre race data is concerned, BHB restates that its policy of charging on the basis of gross profits is fair to all as it is based on the value which is created from the data which is used, even if that is confined to lists of runners. In addition, racecourse bookmakers have been given a year until the new gross profits charging regime is introduced.
Nigel Smith, Managing Director Commercial, commented:
“The matter of copyright on betting shows is a matter for others and no doubt the Federation will be making its claims to racecourses and off course bookmakers. As far as our charging policy is concerned, we have made it clear to racecourse bookmakers that we want a flourishing racecourse market but BHB’s data must be paid for on the basis of a fair policy. I am confident that the OFT will see that both the mechanism for charging and the concessions given to racecourse bookmakers are fair and entirely consistent with competition law”.