Horserace Betting Levy Board
Statutory Functions: Levy CollectionImproving HorseracingAdvancing Veterinary Science and EducationSupporting Breeds
About the HBLB
The HBLB is a statutory body established by the Betting Levy Act 1961 and now operating in accordance with the provisions of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 (as amended).
Unlike some other non-departmental public bodies, the HBLB receives no central Government grant-in-aid and no National Lottery funding. Instead, it is required by the Act to collect a statutory levy from the horseracing business of bookmakers and the Tote successor company which it then distributes for the improvement of horseracing and breeds of horses and for the advancement of veterinary science and education.
For the financial year 2011/12 the Levy was distributed as follows:
|Improvement of breeds||691|
|Channel 4 Racing||894|
|Point to Point||207|
The Bookmakers’ Committee is responsible for making annual recommendations to the HBLB regarding the terms, rates and conditions which will apply to the next Levy Scheme. It has 13 members representing the major companies and trade associations in the betting industry.
52nd Levy Scheme
The terms of the 52nd Levy Scheme (1st April 2013 to 31st March 2014) were agreed on 24th October 2012, details of the Scheme can be found here.
The HBLB makes a significant contribution to the total prize money in each calendar year.
Industry Training and Education
The successful breeding, training and racing of thoroughbreds relies on numerous grooms, riders and jockeys with specialist skills and knowledge. Their recruitment and training is substantially funded through the Levy, as is Racing's schools education programme.
The HBLB provides grants to racecourses to help cover regulation and integrity costs including camera patrol and photo finish equipment and the fees charged by the British Horseracing Authority for its services such as raceday veterinary and security officials and drug testing.
Jump Breeders' Prizes 2013
The promotion and success of British breeding on a global scale is assisted by the HBLB's provision of annual funding for a Jump Breeders' Prizes Scheme.
Loans for Capital Projects
The HBLB supports the improvement of racecourses by way of loans for capital projects, which are to be reintroduced with effect from 2013
Betting Exchanges Consultation
The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against a High Court decision in the Horserace Betting Levy Board’s favour in 2012 which found that customers of betting exchanges, acting in that capacity, do not constitute leviable bookmakers.
The initial 2010 HBLB Consultation Paper in relation to this issue, responses to the consultation and further submissions can be found by clicking here.
Veterinary Science and Education
The HBLB has opened applications for research grants in 2013. Three different grant funds are being offered:
1. The annual round of HBLB grants for Veterinary Research Projects will support scientifically robust research projects which will benefit the health and well-being of horses, particularly the Thoroughbred; minimise the impact and improve the clinical management of disease and injury in all age groups; promote successful breeding and prevent injury in racehorses. Applications are made online via the HBLB’s Equine Grants System.
2. New for 2013, the Racing Foundation will support applied research in the field of equine science which has demonstrable practical benefits to Thoroughbred horseracing. Applications will be accepted in equine related disciplines, including veterinary, biological science, non-biological science and technical interests. Applications are made online via the HBLB’s Equine Grants System.
3. New for 2013, a HBLB fund for Small Project Grants. Funding will support research projects that focus on specific issues of direct and immediate practical importance to the health and wellbeing of the Thoroughbred. The grants will be open to all and are for projects under £10k and lasting less than 1 year. Application packs are available to download.
Applications are also open for education awards in 2013. Two programmes are offered:
1. Veterinary Research Training Scholarships for veterinary graduates to pursue a PhD programme in any scientific or veterinary field relevant to the Thoroughbred.
2. Senior Equine Clinical Scholarships for veterinary graduates with at least 2 years’ experience to train for a higher qualification, in an equine field relevant to the Thoroughbred.