20 Feb 2008 Pre-2014 Releases

Paul Roy, Chairman of the British Horseracing Authority, reacted to Government’s determination of the 47th (2008/09) Horserace Betting Levy Scheme, announced today by the Minister for Sport, Gerry Sutcliffe.

He said:

“Racing made a comprehensive case which showed that we should have a significantly higher levy return. It is very frustrating that, at the end of the process of the last few months, the result of the determination is that we are standing still for another year. That delay in getting to grips with the issues is costing British racing millions of pounds.

“We note that the betting industry’s groundless and empty argument that the 2008/09 levy should yield less than £40m to racing has been rejected.

“But our case is that the levy yield has to reflect the real value of racing. It is still our view that this is at least £135m. This is supported by comprehensive legal and economic analysis, and we are confident that ultimately the merits of racing’s case will win out.

“We have spoken with the Minister for Sport today who has clarified that every aspect of the modern relationship between racing and betting is on the table now and up for discussion. He has confirmed that this review will commence immediately, and that it will specifically address all the issues including the proper contribution of betting exchanges and developments in online betting more generally.

“None of this alters our view that the process and the determination decision are flawed and we will take this up with the Department for Culture, Media and Sport. We have been pressing since the end of 2006 for the levy process to be modernised. This has to happen.

“The Minister for Sport is addressing the British Horseracing Authority’s annual conference on Monday. We are looking to him to take the opportunity to express clear views about how Government intends to ensure a fair and reasonable return for racing in the future, underpinned by clear legislation.”