Thursday 18th September 2014

Levy Board Unanimously Agrees Levy Scheme for 2015/16

Horserace Betting Levy Board members have approved unanimously the Recommendations from the Bookmakers’ Committee for the terms of the 54th Levy Scheme (1st April 2015 to 31st March 2016).

The Bookmakers’ Committee’s estimate of 54th Levy Scheme yield, added to Betfair’s estimated £7.8m contribution, is £74.3m.

The Bookmakers’ Committee estimates that the current (53rd) Levy Scheme in 2014/15, inclusive of Betfair’s contribution of £7.8m, will yield £74.6m.

In addition to the agreement of the 54th Levy Scheme, the four largest retail bookmakers (William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred) have agreed to continue the underwriting of a combined contribution payable through the statutory Levy of not less than £47.5m in the 54th Levy Scheme period. This is the same sum underwritten by the firms in respect of the 53rd Levy Scheme period.

Paul Lee, Chairman of the Levy Board, said:

“The agreement of the 54th Levy Scheme provides certainty and stability for all parties and is very good news all round.

“I am particularly grateful to the Bookmakers’ Committee for making its detailed recommendations as early as September and for the constructive approach taken by Racing’s appointees to the Board. I would also like to thank the four largest retail bookmakers for their commitment to maintain their underwritten contribution at the same level as applies to the 53rd Levy Scheme.”

Will Roseff, Chairman of the Bookmakers’ Committee, said:

“I am delighted that the Bookmakers’ Committee, representing all bookmakers large and small, was able to submit recommendations for the 54th Levy Scheme upon which all its members agreed. Today’s unanimous endorsement by the Levy Board is further evidence of bookmakers, Racing and the Levy Board working together productively and augurs well for the future.”

Paul Bittar, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said:

“Racing’s representatives welcomed the Bookmakers’ Committee putting forward recommendations in good time ahead of the 31st October annual deadline along with continuation of the Levy underwrite which provides certainty of key expenditure including prize money and integrity services. Our attentions are now focused on the Government’s consultation on fundamental reform or replacement of the Levy and establishing a modern relationship with an evolving betting industry, and we will continue to work actively with bookmakers to this end.”

For further information, please contact Alan Delmonte, Chief Executive of the Levy Board, on 020 3603 2453.


54th Levy Scheme : Key Aspects

The 54th Levy Scheme will in most respects continue the terms of the 53rd Levy Scheme with a headline rate of Levy at 10.75% of bookmakers’ gross profits on British racing, and with uprating for inflation the thresholds applicable to Licensed Betting Offices (LBOs) and the fixed-sum payments in certain other categories.

The details of the 54th Levy Scheme (and the corresponding details for the 53rd Levy Scheme) are as follows:

(a) Licensed Betting Offices
Each LBO will pay 10.75% of its gross profits on British Horserace Betting Business (BHBB). For an operator with 100 or fewer LBOs, an abated rate will apply to those of its LBOs (up to a maximum of 30) which have gross profits on BHBB of less than £57,257. Operators with more than 100 LBOs will pay at the full 10.75% rate on each outlet.

(53rd Levy Scheme: 10.75%; threshold rate £55,860, applicable as above)

(b) Telephone and Internet
Each telephone and/or internet operator will pay 10.75% of its combined gross profits on BHBB.

(53rd Levy Scheme : 10.75%)

(c) Spread Betting
Each spread betting operator will pay 2.15% of its gross profits on BHBB.

(53rd Levy Scheme: 2.15%)

(d) Betting Exchanges
Each bet-broker including betting exchanges will pay on a basis equivalent to 10.75% of its gross profits, defined as gross commission on BHBB deducted from the winnings paid out to bettors and bet-takers.

(53rd Levy Scheme : 10.75%)

(e) On-course Bookmakers
Each on-course bookmaker will pay a fixed contribution of £240.

(53rd Levy Scheme : £234)

(f) Point-to-Point Bookmakers
Each bookmaker conducting BHBB on Point-to-Point and/or Harness Racing and/or trotting events will pay a fixed contribution of £192.

(53rd Levy Scheme : £187)

(g) Flat Rate Rebate (FRR)
For LBOs with gross profit on BHBB of less than £60,000, a FRR of £1,100 will be available on the first 30 LBOs in a bookmaker’s chain and £500 for all remaining LBOs with gross profits below this figure. Marginal relief will be available for LBOs with profit between £60,001 and £60,999. No FRR can be claimed on LBOs with gross profit on BHBB over £61,000. This will be a sum deducted from the bookmaker’s 54th Levy Scheme liability during the year-end reconciliation.

(53rd Levy Scheme : A Flat Rate Rebate of £758 for the first 30 LBOs in any chain and £191 for all other LBOs)