Wednesday 5th August 2009

New Levy Board Chair Appointed

Paul Lee has been appointed as the new Chair of the Horserace Betting Levy Board, Minister for Sport Gerry Sutcliffe announced today.
The Levy Board is a public body that raises money for the improvement of horseracing and the advancement of veterinary science and education. It does this through collecting a statutory levy from bookmakers.

Mr Lee is a Senior Partner and Board Chairman at Addleshaw Goddard LLP, one of the UK’s leading law firms. He also serves on the Confederation of British Industry (CBI) board and is Chairman of the North West Business Leadership Team.

Paul Lee will take up the post on 1 October 2009 for a four year term. He succeeds Robert Hughes CBE, who has chaired the Levy Board since 1998.

Gerry Sutcliffe said:
“I am very pleased Paul Lee will be taking on the role of Levy Board Chair. He has significant expertise in law and business that will prove invaluable during this important period for the Levy Board. The fact that he does not have any allegiances to bookmakers or racing should strengthen his ability to act as a mediator between both sides. I am confident he will provide the kind of leadership needed to proceed with modernising the Levy.

“I would also like to place on record my thanks to Robert Hughes for his leadership over the last 11 years.”

Paul Lee said:
"I am delighted to be joining the Levy Board, particularly at a challenging time for the industry. As a keen race-goer, I will relish the opportunity to make a contribution to the sport. I look forward to working with both racing and bookmakers and am hopeful that we can work together to ensure that the Levy system continues to benefit all those with an interest in racing."

Notes for editors

1. The Levy Board is a statutory body established by the Betting Levy Act 1961, now operating in accordance with the provisions of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963. Its purpose is to assess and collect monetary contributions from bookmakers and the Tote via a levy, which it distributes for the improvement of horseracing and breeds of horses, and for the advancement of veterinary science and education.

2. In March 2000, the Government announced its intention to abolish the Levy Board and the levy mechanism, provided that an alternative funding mechanism, acceptable to both bookmakers and racing, was available. Whilst a number of options were explored, an alternative did not prove possible and in December 2006, the then Minister for Sport, Rt Hon Richard Caborn MP, announced that the Horserace Betting Levy will be retained in the medium term, until a suitable funding mechanism can be identified.