19 Mar 2014 Financial/Political

British Racing today received a major boost in Chancellor George Osborne’s 2014 Budget Statement, with significant commitments from the Government for long overdue and fundamental reforms to the financing of an industry worth £3.45 billion annually to the British economy.

Paul Bittar, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said:

“Today’s announcement by the Chancellor represents a major milestone in our efforts to secure the future finances of our industry.

“For too long we have sought a funding mechanism which reflects the nature of the modern Racing and Betting industries. Today’s commitment brings us considerably closer to achieving this goal, and securing the future prosperity of one of the country’s leading sports, and a major employer across the country.

“We look forward to engaging positively in both consultation processes, on Levy extension to offshore operators and wider Levy reform or replacement, in the coming months.”

Notes to Editors:

1. The full text of the 2014 Budget Statement, and accompanying documentation, can be found at https://www.gov.uk/government/topical-events/budget-2014

2. The Chancellor’s Budget Statement follows yesterday’s debate on the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill, where the House of Lords unanimously adopted a Government Amendment allowing it to consult on the extension of the Horserace Betting Levy to offshore based remote betting operators under a Point of Consumption Licensing regime. This will close a loophole costing the industry over £20 million annually in lost levy receipts and level the playing field between operators which do contribute to the financing of the sport and those which do not.

3. Tuesday’s debate in the House of Lords on the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill can be read at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201314/ldhansrd/text/140318-0001.htm#14031876000360

4. The BHA’s previous statement on the Amendment to the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill can be read at http://www.britishhorseracing.presscentre.com/Press-Releases/BHA-welcomes-Government-support-to-bring-offshore-Levy-payments-to-British-Racing-49e.aspx

For more information contact:

Will Lambe
British Horseracing Authority
t: 0207 152 0028
m:07816 914409
e: [email protected]