British Horse Racing Levy
Levy talks to resume as government says voluntary deal is in sector’s ‘best interest’

Levy talks to resume as government says voluntary deal is in sector’s ‘best interest’

The government has stated that a voluntary agreement would be beneficial for the racing sector. The levy, which is British racing’s central funding system and is expected to generate around £100 million in the latest financial year, was last reformed in April 2017.

At that time, the government pledged to review the levy rate within seven years to ensure it accurately reflected any changes in the market. Following the publication of the government’s gambling white paper in April last year, a review was launched to ensure the sport would not suffer any financial repercussions from the proposed introduction of affordability checks on bettors.

However, instead of implementing a specific solution, ministers encouraged racing and betting to reach their own arrangement. Talks have been ongoing since last summer, but progress towards an agreement has been slow.

Bookmakers, represented by the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC), have made an offer based on a percentage increase in the levy, with the funds dedicated to promoting and marketing the sport. Numerous meetings have taken place between racing representatives, the BGC, and ministers at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport regarding this matter.

In February, it was emphasized that a voluntary deal was needed, as there was no legislative opportunity to amend the levy. However, racing believes that changes can be made relatively easily through a type of secondary legislation known as a statutory instrument.

Furthermore, a separate levy on gambling operators to raise funds for the research, education, and treatment of problem gambling is also set to be introduced through secondary legislation in the coming months. The government’s stance was reflected in its response to a report on gambling regulation by the Culture, Media and Sport Committee, which stressed the need for a new settlement arising from the levy review to mitigate the impact of the white paper reforms on racing.

The government stated that it was “exploring legislative options” to change the levy, but also indicated that a voluntary agreement would be in the best interests of the sport, asserting its commitment to exploring all options and encouraging cooperation between racing and betting for the benefit of the sector.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *