Tuesday 28th April 2009

Levy Scheme for 2010/2011 Agreed

On 28th April 2009, the Horserace Betting Levy Board and the Bookmakers’ Committee agreed the 49th Levy Scheme (1st April 2010 to 31st March 2011), some six months ahead of schedule. The Board has agreed the Bookmakers’ Committee’s recommendation of a further roll-over of 10% of gross profits for the 49th Levy Scheme with the annual variation being the RPI changes expressed as at 31st July.

During the course of the discussion, the Board expressed concern at the absence of Levy contributions from offshore operators, although they derive substantial benefits from business on the sport. Importantly, the Board agreed to call on Government to act to secure levy from offshore operators.

The Board has also approved a revised levy process, which the independent Government Appointed Members will oversee, including inviting Racing to initiate the process by presenting proposals to the Board each spring, with the Bookmakers’ Committee being invited to respond. Under the new process, the Board may enlist external support in carrying out an independent assessment or otherwise assisting in achieving reaching a settlement. Work over the past year has concluded that further levy modernisation can only be achieved through legislation, not likely in the immediate or near future, and therefore the Board has adopted amendments to the process which are more immediately available within the framework of the existing legislation.

The agreement ahead of time was made possible by the support of both the Bookmakers’ Committee and Racing and is a firm indication of their mutual commitment to a long term partnership. The Board has also agreed a long-term plan whereby the Bookmakers’ Committee and Racing will work together on a range of issues of mutual interest.

The Levy Board Chairman, Robert Hughes, commented:
“I am delighted that the Bookmakers’ Committee and Racing’s Representatives have taken such a positive and innovative approach to the 49th Levy Scheme, including constructive discussions concerning a longer term plan.”