British Racing Seals New Levy Deal with Four Bookmakers

October 24, 2013

The four largest bookmakers in the UK have secured a four-year deal with British racing to make voluntary contributions of £4.5million per annum into the newly-created Incentive Fund.

Taking effect from April 2014, the payments from William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred will be managed by a new distribution group made up of representatives from the likes of the Levy Board, British Horseracing Authority, Racecourse Association, Horsemen’s Group and the bookmakers themselves to advise on how best to distribute the money.

As part of the arrangement, the four bookmakers have agreed to underwrite a combined contribution payable through the statutory Levy of not less than £47.5m per year, as well as the additional voluntary contributions.

With the announcement of the 53rd Levy Scheme also arriving, total income to the Levy Board from bookmakers in 2014-15 is estimated to reach £80.2m, including Betfair’s £7.8m contribution.

A statement on behalf of William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred said: “We are delighted to have reached an arrangement with racing, which will see the biggest four bookmakers in Britain inject an additional £18m into British racing over the next four years.

“This addition to our normal statutory Levy payments will ensure that the four companies underwrite a minimum £52m per year to the Levy Board.

“British racing is a core product in our betting offices and we want to see it grow and thrive. The £18m will be used to improve the competitiveness of the racing product, making it more appealing to both racegoers and betting office customers alike.

“We look forward to working closely with our colleagues from racing over the next four years and maintaining, and enhancing, Britain’s status as the number one horseracing nation in the world.”

BHA chief executive Paul Bittar said: “This arrangement has the support of the principal organisations in the sport, including the Racecourse Association and Horsemen’s Group, and represents a positive step forwards in the prevailing circumstances.

“We are pleased to reach an early Levy settlement, and in turn trigger a significant additional voluntary contribution from the big four retail operators for the next four years.

“This additional funding, coupled with a continuation of the underwrite, brings a degree of certainty and considerable upside in the coming years, and we would like to place on record our appreciation towards the big four bookmakers and the Levy Board in helping us reach this arrangement.

“Importantly, the arrangement places the emphasis on joint efforts with the betting industry to make the racing product even more compelling, and competitive year-round. We look forward to working with the big four bookmakers to put the new Incentive Fund to best use, and grow Levy income further.”