02 Dec 2010 Pre-2014 Releases

Racing welcomes the Government Appointed Members of the Levy Board’s decision to accept our recommendations to close the anomalies in the Levy structure by proposing to abolish thresholds and reintroduce Levy payments on foreign racing. Their proposals to the Secretary of State are a further important step towards both modernising the Levy and securing a fair return for Racing.

As their submission states, the issue of the contribution to be made by offshore operators and exchanges is subject to on-going consultation and policy review by DCMS and the Levy Board. Racing will now liaise with Jeremy Hunt and officials at DCMS to stress the importance of these issues being addressed as a matter of urgency.

Racing notes the receommendation to reduce the headline Levy rate to nine percent, although this suggestion has little explanation. We are concerned at the impact this will have on British Racing while two important areas of future contributions, notably from overseas operators and betting exchanges, are still to be addressed. Racing will use the coming weeks to explain to Jeremy Hunt that we only see a reduction in the headline rate being remotely feasible if at the same time arrangements are made to secure fair contributions from overseas operators and betting exchanges. Jeremy Hunt himself has previously stressed the importance of ensuring that funding for Racing from betting is fair and collected from as broad a base as possible, and exchanges and offshore operators were specifically mentioned as issues that would be addressed by this Government.

Paul Roy, Chairman of the British Horseracing Authority, said:

“Today’s news delivers the first part of all that Racing has campaigned for under the Racing United banner. Now we turn our focus to the next stage and working with Government on the remaining areas.

“Racing will engage constructively with the Secretary of State to assist him secure his objective of collecting a fair return for Racing from across the betting industry. We know he and his colleagues are committed to seeing the future of Racing safeguarded. The priorities now are reversing the impact of offshore operators and exchanges, which combined  cost as much as £20m to £40m in Levy. 

“The rest of the racing world is dealing with these issues to ensure fairness and that racing thrives.  If they are not dealt with here there will be potentially severe consequences for the sport.  We will also continue to put forward constructive proposals that address the Secretary of State’s desire to remove himself from the Levy process by introducing a replacement mechanic, which we fully support.”