Friday 26th February 2021
The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) has agreed its allocation towards the funding of Racing’s fixture list for May and June 2021, continuing its significantly higher than usual contribution to prize money funding.
HBLB’s grants, in conjunction with additional racecourse contributions, will enable an increase in the minimum prize money values for the highest class of races. Class 1 Minimum Values will return to 100% of their pre-Covid level, in line with all other race classes which already operate at this level.
In total, HBLB has allocated £20.1m for 1st May to 30th June 2021. This comprises £16.4m for prize money and £3.7m in regulatory and fixture grants. The core day to day prize money contributions will total £14m through the per-race rate card, an increase of 49% on the £9.4m allocated to comparable prize money funds in a typical May and June. In addition will be contributions to the Appearance Money Scheme (£1.3m), Divided Races Fund (£0.15m) and the Great British Bonus (£0.9m).
HBLB will also continue with funding specific additional regulatory costs associated with ensuring the sport’s compliance with staging fixtures under current Covid-related protocols.
While HBLB’s overall prize money contribution will continue to be higher than usual, its per-race allocation to the enhanced prize money rate card will reduce to 80% of the current level, in place since September 2020. This will not have a downward effect on overall prize money because racecourses have committed to increasing their own contributions. This will allow HBLB to maintain its higher overall funding at a time of year when the fixture and race volume is greater than during the winter.
HBLB will give consideration to its funding beyond June in the light of upcoming developments, including the final end of year Levy outturn after 31st March and the timetables for the reopening of Licensed Betting Offices (LBOs) and the return of crowds to race meetings.
Paul Darling, Chairman of HBLB, said: “We have agreed a funding package that maintains our overall substantial funding to prize money levels and meets the appropriate additional regulatory costs. The closure of LBOs has had an effect on our income projections, and, with the wider changing situation, it is sensible that we take a view about July onwards when the position is clearer.
“We are pleased to be able to play a significant role in restoring minimum prize money values for the highest class of races to their pre-Covid levels, in line with all other classes. This continues to be a period of real co-operation between Racing, Betting and the Levy Board which has served all parties well.”
HBLB will retain the rate card funding mechanism that has been in place since the resumption of racing in June 2020, under which HBLB provides most of its prize money grants on a per-race basis, rather than the usual per-fixture basis. The per-race payments will be adjusted down to 80% of their current values. Class 1 races are being returned to 100% of their pre-Covid minimum values and therefore, HBLB funding for these races will be 6.67% higher than presently. This has been calculated by increasing their current rate card values by 33%, before applying the overall 20% reduction. HBLB is therefore paying significantly more overall in May and June than usual, but less per race than since September 2020. HBLB’s contribution, plus additional racecourse contributions expected in May and June, will enable all races to be run for at least their pre-Covid Minimum Values.
In addition to the rate card, HBLB will continue to support the Appearance Money Scheme with funding of £1.3m and the Divided Race Fund with £0.15m.
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. The Board has formally approved the full £3.5m budget for 2021.
Normal Regulatory and Fixture Incentive Grants
HBLB will continue to make its standard Raceday Services Grants (RSGs) to racecourses at a value of £12,571 per fixture, a total cost of £3.7m in May and June, as its contribution towards the regulatory and integrity costs incurred in the running of fixtures.
Covid-related Regulatory Grants
HBLB has agreed a provision to maintain the ongoing supply of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on racedays as well other additional raceday regulatory costs incurred due to Covid-related requirements. These are fundamental components of ensuring that racing can continue to operate in compliance with agreed protocols. This is equivalent to c£165,000 per month.
For further information, please contact HBLB Chief Executive Alan Delmonte on 07931 701536