Bookmaker Levy

HBLB raises money by collecting a statutory levy from betting on British horseracing with off-course bookmakers, the Tote successor company and on-course bookmakers. Off-course betting includes bets placed at Licensed Betting Offices, with British based internet and telephone betting operations, with spread betting firms and with bet broking operations, including Betting Exchanges. The Levy on off-course bets represents the greatest proportion of HBLB's income. The basis of assessing Levy liability for most bookmakers is by reference to their gross profits on British horserace betting business. More information on assessing a bookmaker's liability to the Levy can be found here.

Each year, the Bookmakers' Committee formulates proposals for the next Levy Scheme in accordance with the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963. It recommends the categories, rates, conditions and definitions to apply in the following Levy Scheme, which begins on 1st April in any year, and forwards these recommendations to Levy Board for consideration. The Board decides whether to approve or reject the recommendations. Revised recommendations may be made by the Bookmakers’ Committee in the event that a set of recommendations is not approved. If agreement is reached by 31 October (i.e. five months in advance of the next Levy period), a Scheme is prepared and promulgated for the forthcoming Levy period commencing 1st April.

In the event that agreement of the Scheme cannot be reached by 31 October, the Scheme is automatically referred to the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport for determination. In the light of that decision, the Scheme is then prepared and promulgated. There have been 27 Levy Schemes from 1990/91 to 2016/17 inclusive and of those the Secretary of State was required to determine 6.

An historical record of Levy income and voluntary payments from bookmakers since 2000/01 can be found here.


Last Updated: 28 October 2016