16 Oct 2001 Pre-2014 Releases

The British Horseracing Board today reaffirmed its desire to secure a satisfactory comprehensive settlement covering the levy and the commercial mechanism (including pictures for UK betting shops) by 31st October 2001. But BHB will only agree to such a settlement if a number of key conditions are met.

BHB Chairman Peter Savill said today:

“I have confirmed to the Chairman of the Levy Board that BHB will do everything it reasonably can to help secure a comprehensive settlement by the end of the month to avoid a reference of the 41st Levy Scheme to the Culture Secretary for determination.

“I have further advised Rob Hughes that, in order to achieve an agreement acceptable to BHB:

 the settlement must not compromise the full introduction of the commercial mechanism in the UK as the basis for funding Racing following the abolition of the levy; it must not prejudice BHB’s ability to apply the mechanism in other jurisdictions; and it must take full account of any competition and other legal considerations. I have re-confirmed that BHB would be willing, subject to satisfaction on all other issues, to allow levy payments to HBLB to be offset against commercial payments to BHB.

 the Levy Board should seek speedily to secure a substantially revised proposal from the Bookmakers’ Committee, indicating clearly the total revenues accruing to Racing from the betting industry in 2002/03. Once agreement has been reached on the total level of income, it is hoped that all parties would be able to speedily agree on an appropriate mechanism, covering levy and commercial mechanism, for securing this income in the difficult circumstances of 2002/03. These circumstances are made all the more difficult by the betting industry’s challenges in the courts and to the OFT.

“As to the State Aid issues raised by Warwick Bartlett last week, these look to be no more than further scare-mongering by the betting industry. The Levy Board has never made BHB aware of any such issues, which are in any event ultimately matters for Government.”

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