14 Feb 2002 Pre-2014 Releases

BHB Chairman Peter Savill said today:

“Bookmakers say that they want to negotiate, but what they really mean is that they want to dictate the price of our product. If they don’t get what they want, they resort to threatening tactics. Not content with taking BHB to the High Court and Office of Fair Trading, they now have Government in their sights.

“Having granted the betting industry a tax cut worth £250m, Government has every right to be annoyed. It seems that there’s no pleasing the betting industry, no matter what concessions they get.

“The comment by the Treasury yesterday that they found it amazing that bookmakers were talking of reimposing punter deductions should make the betting industry realise that it can’t resort to the easy option of putting deductions back on to increase its profits. It is interesting that the Treasury should declare that, since the introduction of GPT, things are working out exactly as expected.

“Bookmakers will have to accept that there is a price to be paid for the racing product, and the price they are being asked is fair, reasonable and affordable.

“As for BHB’s commitment that bookmakers would not be required to pay twice in levy and commercial payments, we have always made clear that the offset would become effective only from the time that a BHB data licence was signed. This is a factor that every bookmaker needs to take into account.”

For further information, please contact Alan Delmonte, BHB Communications Manager, on 020 7343 3318