Paul Roy, Chairman of the British Horseracing Authority, responding to comments attributed to Bookmakers’ Committee Chairman Will Roseff, said:
“Will Roseff and his Committee have to come forward with a real number as to what they say is fair for all of betting to contribute to the Levy. The Bookmakers’ Committee recommendation to increase thresholds, which was rejected by the Levy Board in September, could cost a further £10m plus in Levy. Deduct this from what we believe the current Scheme will generate if it were to continue as the Bookmakers’ Committee say they want, and that means a Bookmakers’ Committee offer of less than £50m, so I’m amazed he claims not to recognise his own figures.
“It seems that the Bookmakers’ Committee is doing all it can to avoid saying what it thinks is fair. Everyone in Racing and many in the betting industry know that such a low figure is entirely unsustainable for the sport and can only do great damage to British Racing.
“Since the derisory offer of the Bookmakers’ Committee was rejected by the Levy Board, Will Roseff has confirmed that they do not plan to revise it, despite it being a very long way from anything Racing could even begin to consider as fair. Let no one be in any doubt that any referral to the Secretary of State for determination will be down solely to the Bookmakers’ Committee.
“We agree with Lord Howard’s comments that urgent Government action is required to close the loophole so that offshore bookmakers should be licensed and be required to pay Levy, as we have been saying for some time. The areas where the Levy is failing are well known to this Coalition Government, and we are confident of their resolve to repair the damage the sport has suffered for years.”