Bookmakers Secures Deal to Pump Money into Horse Racing

November 1, 2011

Bookmakers have secured a deal with the horse racing industry to put up to £72.4m ($115.3m) into the sport in Britain next year through the sport’s levy.

A agreement came together just before Monday’s midnight deadline means the Government will not be called in to decide what bookmakers pay to the sport.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt had to set the figure last year because agreement could not be reached.

The 51st Levy is payable from April and provides 50% of prize-money.

William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral have all submitted to a base figure of £45m ($71.7m) and, in addition, Betfair has undertaken to provide £6.5m ($10.3m).

Levy Board chairman Paul Lee said: “I believe the offer that has been accepted should deliver to the sport significant benefits. The offer of guaranteed contributions by the major operators provides more certainty for all parties and valuable assistance for the Levy Board’s financial planning.

“The Board will be giving immediate consideration to expenditure for 2012 in the light of the resolution but, as a provisional indication, we expect to be able to plan to spend around £65m next year, an increase from £60m in 2011.”

Will Roseff, chairman of the bookmakers committee, the betting industry’s negotiating body for the Levy, added: “We’re pleased that the Levy has been settled this year with no need for intervention by the Secretary of State.

“In his determination last year, the Secretary of State asked bookmakers and racing to negotiate the Levy in a more restrained fashion. This year’s negotiations have seen a more productive dialogue compared to last year’s.

“We hope that this year’s settlement on the 51st Levy offers a springboard for discussions on its long term future, removing government from the process entirely.