UK Racing Proposes New Solution

Right-to-bet proposal to solve funding crisis?

As a proposal to solve a funding crisis in the racing industry, British horseracing groups have presented a plan that may just serve as a solution.

Namely, they believe that the fact that Levy returns are declining is owed to the fact that major bookmakers have moved their operations offshore. Therefore, they are proposing legislation that would require operators offering markets on UK Racing to "purchase the right to bet."

In order to do this, a proper legislation would have to be passed and declare racings fixtures an intellectual property. In addition, the proposal also suggests that bookmakers' licenses should be granted on condition that they reach a commercial agreement with racecourses and the racing industry.

According to the acting CEO of the British Horseracing Association, Chris Brand, "We are absolutely not afraid of testing the strength of our sport in a proper commercial market."

His counterpart from The Association of British Bookmakers, Dirk Vennix, also stated: "Our industry has not yet seen the full detail of racing's proposal, but we can say with certainty that a betting right for the sport is entirely unwarranted.

"Such a move would hand the horseracing industry a state-sponsored monopoly to add to its existing media-rights monopolies. This is undesirable in a free-market economy and will remove any incentive for the sport to meet the commercial needs of its largest customer."

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