Thursday 19th December 2013

Record Prize Money in Prospect in 2014 as Levy Board Contributes Extra £6m

The Horserace Betting Levy Board’s allocation to prize money is set to pass £56m in 2014, up by over £6m on 2013, contributing to an anticipated new record prize money level of over £120m next year.

Overall, the Board’s total budgeted expenditure in 2014 is £82.0m, up by 7 per cent on the £76.3m budgeted in 2013, itself an increase on actual spend of £64.8m in 2012 and £59.3m in 2011.

The Board’s ability to commit to this additional expenditure reflects an improved underlying financial position and further significant savings in administrative and operational costs.

Levy Board Chairman Paul Lee commented:

“The Board last year adopted as a priority objective an increase in prize money and it is extremely pleasing to be able to budget for an extra 12 per cent in our prize money contribution in 2014.

“This is a further reflection of our continuing financial stability after a difficult period in the early part of the decade. The increased expenditure is also a consequence of the recent agreement of the 53rd Levy Scheme and the four-year arrangement between the four largest retail bookmakers and Racing.

“We are also able to provide an additional £200,000 to our veterinary science and education research programme, now in its 50th year, and an increase of the same amount in the grant towards the racing and breeding’s recruitment, training and education initiatives.

“The latter have undergone examination and re-evaluation by BHA after a request to do so by the Levy Board. The culmination of that review has been accompanied by a 20 per cent increase in the Board’s financial contribution.”


  1. Total budgeted expenditure of £82.0m in 2014 is up by 38 per cent against 2011 actual spend of £59.3m.

  2. Levy yields, including voluntary contributions (such as Betfair):
    2012/13: £74.4m
    2013/14 (estimated): £75.6m
    2014/15 (estimated): £80.2m

  3. The £56.4m budgeted for prize money in 2014 compares to £50.2m budgeted in 2013, £37.0m spent in 2012 and £34.5m spent in 2011. The 2014 figure is up by 63 per cent on 2011’s actual spend.

  4. The additional £6.2m prize money allocation in 2014 against 2013 includes an uplift of £1.7m on comparable prize money headings and assumes that all of the £4.5m from the new Incentive Fund agreed between the four largest retail bookmakers and Racing will be spent on prize money in the course of the year.

  5. Details of the various prize money headings will be finalised and published in the Board’s Business Plan in early 2014. These will include substantial contributions to the new Future Champions Day and Good Friday fixtures and to the enhanced winter all weather programme in 2013/14. The Board will also provide, through the Incentive Fund, investment to improve Levy generation across races of various Classes through the year, the details of which remain under discussion. The overall prize money allocation will be split 61/39 Flat/Jump, in line with the amount of levy generated by each code of racing.