Friday, December 15, 2006
British levy on horseracing betting to remain

The British Horseracing Board today welcomed Government’s announcement that the horserace betting levy system is to be retained.

BHB Chairman Martin Broughton said:

“Racing is extremely grateful to Government, and in particular the Minister for Sport, Richard Caborn, for today’s announcement. It gives the sport vital reassurance about its longer term funding beyond 2009.

“Government’s confirmation that the levy system will continue without time-limitation until a secure and adequate alternative commercial funding arrangement can be identified will also enable further progress to be made on resolving the pension issues which is a prerequisite to the launch of the British Horseracing Authority early next year, a goal towards which Racing is working determinedly.

“The Future Funding of Racing Review Group concluded earlier this year that there was no present available alternative to the statutory levy system, a view which we shared. The setback of the European Court of Justice Judgement in 2004 prevented the intended alternative from being introduced, but Racing remains committed to examining all future options for a sustainable and enforceable commercial mechanism to succeed the levy.

“We note that Government intends to modernise the existing levy mechanism and to consult in the New Year on proposed changes. Racing welcomes this review and will play a full and constructive part in the process.”