The British Horseracing Board, having examined in detail the various options, has agreed to press for a reduction in General Betting Duty (GBD) from 6.75% to 5% in this yea?_x0019_s Budget and for a simultaneous cut in punter deductions from the present level of 9% also to 5%.
BHB Chairman, Peter Savill, said: “”The proposal the BHB will be submitting to Government later this month is one which the Board believes has a realistic chance of success and would do much to counteract the threat posed by offshore betting.
“”The proposal recognises the legitimate interests of all four groups concerned. It would be good for racing and good for punters. It offers a practical means of protecting Government revenues and it would protect bookmaker profitability.””
BHB Chief Executive, Tristram Ricketts, added: “”The Board has examined in detail the betting industry’s earlier suggestion that both GBD and punter deductions should be reduced still further to 3%. In the Board’s view, such a proposal is unrealistic and most unlikely to find favour with Government as the net effect would be a very substantial increase in bookmaker profits and a large fall in Treasury income.
“”On the other hand, cuts in GBD and deductions to 5% could yield benefits to racing, a much improved deal for punters and reduce the impact of offshore betting without adversely affecting betting industry profits. The net effect on Treasury revenues should be marginal and might well be positive, taking into account tax income which would otherwise undoubtedly be lost if the offshore issue is not addressed. Thus the rare chance of the four interest groups all ending up as winners without a loser is there for the taking.
“”Given the obvious advantages of a joint approach to Government, we will do all we can to ensure that the BHB proposal receives the support of the betting industry and the Government-appointed members of the Levy Board.””