The British Horseracing Authority, together with William Hill Organisation Ltd, yesterday lodged an application for a judicial review of the Levy Board’s decision that it could not seek to impose levy on business users of betting exchanges.
Explaining the reason for the decision, Chris Brand, Acting Chief Executive of the Authority, said:
“We have always maintained that this is essentially a legal question and that clarity can only be determined by the courts. We urged the Levy Board to take this step, but they refused. The process adopted by the Levy Board thus provided no definitive outcome, evidenced not least by the fact that the decision in question was arrived at solely on the basis of the chairman’s casting vote. That is very unsatisfactory.
“In taking their decision, the Levy Board acknowledged that it was open to anyone disagreeing with their interpretation of the law to seek a judicial review, and that is what we are now seeking. Given this acknowledgement, we hope that the Levy Board will work with us to keep the legal process amicable and swift.
“The bulk of the work required for this process has already been undertaken by way of the legal advice which both Racing and the Levy Board have taken as part of the lengthy, but ultimately inconclusive, consultation exercise. We are optimistic that this will help to keep the costs of the process to the minimum.
“Given the rapidly declining income from the Levy, it would have been irresponsible not to seek clarification on this aspect of the law.”