Wednesday 21st October 2020
The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has agreed its contribution to the funding of Racing’s fixture list for the first four months of 2021, continuing the significantly increased support that it has provided since the resumption of racing in June 2020.
In total, HBLB has allocated £31.9m for 1st January to 30th April 2021. This includes £24.4m for prize money, a 46% increase on the normal level paid by HBLB in this period. In addition, there is £6.85m in regulatory and other grants, plus up to £650,000 towards specific regulatory costs associated with ensuring the sport’s compliance with current protocols in staging fixtures.
The largest bookmakers have continued voluntarily to provide detailed data on the performance of betting on racing, assisting HBLB’s ability to estimate income ranges for the year as a whole. This in turn has been helped by all bookmakers reviewing their current level of monthly payments on account at HBLB’s invitation last month. HBLB’s most recent estimate is that Levy yield for 2020/21 will not be less than £75 million. However, there is now a changing wider situation and closures of Licensed Betting Offices are expected to have a downward impact on Levy yield. Risks to Levy yield will continue to be monitored on a regular basis.
Paul Darling, Chairman of HBLB, said: “We are pleased to be able to sustain our significant support into 2021. This announcement is intended to provide clarity to the sport about prize money and regulatory grants through to next spring. The Board is particularly mindful of the delay in the return of paying spectators at fixtures, which will continue to affect the ability of racecourses to make their usual prize money contributions.
“The combination of encouraging levels of betting activity since June, our existing level of cash reserves and the modelling for the rest of the Levy year have given us enough confidence to agree this package. Our financial outlook would need to worsen significantly in the coming months to cause us to revisit what we are announcing today. However, the wider national situation, including the impact on Licensed Betting Offices, will inevitably require ongoing consideration.
“I would again like to thank those bookmakers who have continued to provide us with betting data that has allowed us to assess actual Levy performance in quick time, which has been crucial in our modelling, and also those operators who have recently agreed to increase their monthly payments on account.
“As has been the case since June, this level of funding from the Board is unsustainable beyond the short-term. We continue to urge the industry’s constituents to work together on future plans, recognising that our contribution will have to return to more normal levels in due course.”
HBLB will retain the ratecard funding mechanism, at its current levels. This will ensure that Racing can maintain the current minimum prize money values for each race class, which are at 100% of their normal levels for lower-class and middle-class races and 75% of their normal values for higher-class racing. This amounts to £20.8m over the four months.
In addition to the ratecard, HBLB will continue to support the Appearance Money Scheme with funding of £2.2m and the Divided Race Fund with £0.7m.
2021 is also the first full year of funding for the Great British Bonus (GBB) scheme, as well as the final year of funding for Plus 10. In total £0.7m has been made available for both schemes in the four-month period.
Normal Regulatory and Fixture Incentive Grants
HBLB will continue to make its standard Raceday Services Grants (RSGs) to racecourses of £12,571 per fixture, at a total cost of £5.5m in the four months, as its principal contribution towards the regulatory and integrity costs incurred in the running of fixtures.
£1.35m will be available to racecourses through the Fixture Incentive Fund, to be paid at 75% of normal levels. This fund is used to encourage racecourses to host fixtures on midwinter weekdays for the benefit of the generation of off-course betting turnover and to provide opportunities for the horse population.
Covid-19 Regulatory Grants
HBLB has agreed a £0.2m provision to maintain the ongoing supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on racedays, as well as £0.45m to support additional raceday regulatory costs incurred in connection with Covid-19 requirements.
For further information, please contact HBLB Chief Executive Alan Delmonte on 07931 701536