Tuesday 9th July 2019
For immediate release, Tuesday 9th July 2019
Horserace Betting Levy Board Confirms 2019 Expenditure
The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has now reviewed and agreed its funding allocations for the full calendar year 2019.
Having decided how to apply a reduction in expenditure from £99m to £94m, details of which are set out at the end of this release, it has now reconfirmed that the projects below will receive funding in 2019:
Sectional Timing and Tracking Technology
HBLB has made a commitment to work with media rights holders and their selected tracking partners, the BHA and the RCA to support the ambition of live sectional timing and tracking data being available at every British racing fixture by the end of 2021. To this end, HBLB has agreed to contribute a total of £0.9m over the next three years to the operating costs at fixtures from 1st April 2019, in line with certain criteria and a racecourse rollout plan agreed with the relevant rights holders.
The contribution to the fixture’s operating costs for the provision of this service will allow the media rights holders and their tracking partners to invest further in developing their own tailored solutions. Accurate and fast data for all races is widely regarded as beneficial in engaging new audiences, while also offering bookmakers the opportunity to develop more compelling betting products in an increasingly competitive market.
This technology will also provide key data-based evidence for industry priorities including equine welfare, integrity and regulation.
Betting Data Collection
HBLB also today formally announces the existence of a major data sharing agreement with a number of leading bookmakers.
Betfred, Ladbrokes Coral, Paddy Power Betfair, Sky Bet and William Hill have agreed voluntarily to share with the Board their race by race betting data from both Digital and Retail channels for every British racing fixture from January 2017 onwards.
This data collection agreement has been negotiated by the Levy Board’s Betting Liaison Group (BLG), which is managed by the HBLB Executive and includes the five betting operators, racecourses, horsemen and the BHA.
HBLB has invested significant resource in this project to ensure that data is accurately and securely captured by appointing PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) as its data collection partner. Each bookmaker provides its data in confidence to PwC, which supplies HBLB with a single anonymised and aggregated dataset.
HBLB is already working closely with bookmakers, racecourses and representatives of Racing to ensure that the data is extensively and proactively utilised. The intention, over time, is to grow betting activity in the long-term interests of the sport.
The Board is grateful to the bookmakers for their substantial cooperation in sharing this data and for their support of the project.
Industry Recruitment, Training and Education
The budget for Industry Recruitment, Training and Education has been increased by £1m to £3.1m, reflecting the importance of this area to Racing. The key additional funding areas include a substantial boost to the vocational training programmes at the British Racing School, Northern Racing College and National Stud, plus extra investment in careers marketing and a range of other activities.
Great British Racing
Great British Racing will receive £1.4m to build upon its 2018 National Campaign.
The Board continues to support the ROA’s Ownership Strategy Project and is contributing an additional £0.79m in 2019, taking total funding for this strategy to £1.66m.
Equine Welfare and Racing Futures
£0.65m has been set aside to support the new independent Equine Welfare Board and the Racing Futures Project led by the BHA.
Reductions in 2019 Prize Money
The Board has agreed the cessation, from 1st July 2019, of the prize money boosts that had been effective from 1st April 2019 for the Race Incentive Funds and for General Prize Money, as well as a reduction in the planned increase in the Raceday Services grant budget in 2019. However, the Board’s contributions to both prize money and Raceday Services are still expected to be higher than in 2018. In addition, a proposed new scheme for the benefit of the British breeding industry is not expected to involve any material drawdown of Levy funds in 2019.
The Board will consider its ongoing expenditure budgets in autumn 2019. As previously publicised, there is a likelihood of expenditure reductions before the end of the 2019/20 year to 31st March 2020.
For further information, please contact Levy Board Chief Executive Alan Delmonte on 020 7504 4004