Thursday 24th April 2008

Levy Board Moves to Increase Prize Money in 2008-2011

The Horserace Betting Levy Board today confirmed an increase in its 2008 Prize Money fund of approximately £6.7m effective from 1st July this year. As a result, the Board’s original 2008 allocation of £49.5m will increase to approximately £56.2m (+13.5%).

The revised Prize Money allocation for the period 1st July – 31st December 2008 equates to a calendar year provision of £62.5m, equalling the best year on record (2006).

The Levy Board has sought to plan for future years, with the intention, as far as possible, of creating a stable Prize Money fund. Based on current forecasting, the Board would look to provide a Prize Money allocation for 2009 to 2011 of at least £65m per annum, assuming that sustainable future Levy Schemes are reached.

The Board took the decision at its April Strategy Review meeting to increase Prize Money with immediate effect against the background of an estimated enhanced Levy yield forecast of at least £110m for the Forty-Sixth Levy Scheme (2007/08). Whilst the official figures for the Levy yield are not available until June each year, the Levy Board feels that the decision to increase Prize Money substantially from 1st July 2008 can and should be taken now.

Robert Hughes, Chairman of the Levy Board, said: “The Board is delighted to be able to increase Prize Money in 2008 from 1st July. This is to be additional to the existing levels of contribution by racecourses. As far as possible, we are looking to achieve certainty for the industry to plan going forward. We will provide further information for the next 3 years during the summer and, based on current forecasting and provided equivalent future Levy Schemes in the period can be achieved, the Board has also decided to use this opportunity to set a minimum Prize Money allocation for 2009 to 2011 of no less than £65m per annum. In order to achieve future stability, a long term agreement between Racing and Betting for the Levy is necessary”.

The details of these increases are as follows:

HBLB Prize Money Allocation
2008 £56.2m (revised estimate)
2007 £55m  
2006 £62.5m  
2005 £60m  
2004 £55m  
2003 £44m  
2002 £40m  
2001 £35m  
2000 £34m  
1999 £32.5m  
Levy Yield (including Tote)  
2007/08 At least £110m  
2006/07 £99.2m  
2005/06 £97.7m  
2004/05 £105.6m  
2003/04 £110.7m  
2002/03 £79.9m  
2001/02 £72.9m  
2000/01 £60.3m  
1999/00 £59.4m