12 May 1999 Pre-2014 Releases

In response to the Home Secretary’s statement this afternoon on the future of the Tote, BHB Chairman, Peter Savill, said: “”The Tote is an integral part of racing and one of its key purposes has always been to provide a source of income to the sport. We have consistently argued that any change in the status of the Tote must enhance the contribution it makes to our industry.
“”In January, we called on the Government to recognise that the best way of achieving this would be to transfer control of the Tote to the BHB, as the only fully representative and accountable body in racing. This is in line with the recommendations of the Home Affairs Select Committee.
“”Today’s announcement opens the door to a transfer of the Tote to BHB and to that extent we welcome it, but there are also aspects of the statement which cause us some anxiety.
“”It is disappointing that the Steering Group did not recommend to Government that the Tote should be transferred to racing without consideration. In the circumstances, we have to accept Government’s decision on this, albeit with some reluctance.
“”We also note with concern that the Government statement gives no guarantee about racing’s future income, and that the Steering Group has done no more than recommend that the legitimate interests of racing should be the subject of further discussion in the planning of the sale.
“”Our task now is to continue to press the overwhelming case for the Tote to be transferred to the BHB, rather than to commercial interests or a racing trust, and to negotiate a fair and affordable price.
“”We look forward to working constructively with the Treasury and the Home Office to achieve BHB’s objective.””