British Racing Gets Hefty Donation from Betfair

Donated GBP 6 million equal to statutory Levy requirements

According to the latest announcements, British racing is to receive a generous donation from the major operator not under a UK license, Betfair, in the amount of GBP 6 Million, which comes in place of the 50th Levy Scheme payment the company would have been required to make had it remained under a UK license.

It has been specified that Horserace Betting Levy Board will receive the donation within the next week. In addition to this, Betfair also promised to invest another GBP 3 Million over the next three years.

According to Martin Cruddace, Betfair's Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, 'Betfair has a strong track record in supporting British racing and this substantial figure is further testament to the commitment we have in seeing the sport thrive. I would now encourage those other operators not licensed in the UK but who are taking bets on British racing to follow suit."

On the other side, Horserace Betting Levy Board Chairman, Paul Lee, said: 'At a time when Levy receipts are falling, the contribution is very important and I am particularly pleased that it will go to prize money in 2012 when we are currently facing a considerable shortage."

Another comment was made by Rt. Hon. John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism & Heritage, UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport: 'We warmly welcome Betfair's announcement and strongly encourage other betting operators to follow suit. This is a positive step for both racing and the betting industry at a time when all sides are committed to finding a long term solution to the levy.'

Apart from the donation, another novelty emerged in Betfair this week, with the launch of a new smartphone racing app ready for the Royal Ascot. The application powered by Timeform is titled "Betfair Racing on your mobile" and it provides an all-in-one product, with detailed race cards, Timeform star ratings, Timeform tips and comments as well as a comprehensive results service.

In addition, it has a full betting functionality, allowing users to both back and lay on Betfair's Exchange, as well as bet In-Play, on win and place markets.

It was stated by Betfair's Director of Racing, Steven Johnson: 'The development of 'Betfair Racing on your mobile' highlights two things; Betfair's continuing innovation in the mobile gaming space, and our continuing commitment to providing racing fans with the most comprehensive, exciting and cutting-edge products."

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