Update: Agreement Reached on British Horseracing Levy


No government involvement this time

The previous reports that the negotiations about the British horseracing levy are to be closed soon in order to meet the deadline and avoid the government involvement have been truthful.

Namely, the British horseracing industry and the nation's bookmakers have indeed closed a deal, agreeing on the annual levy of GBP72.4 million given to horseracing, whose recent turnover has seen quite a decline. Apparently, the agreement also envisages that racing is obliged to provide a minimum of 1,450 fixtures per year, but this is probably just going to aggravate the British Horseracing Authority, which has been trying to reduce fixtures in order to cope with declining income.

This news has been reported by the Guardian newspaper, which also reported that such a deal did not meet the unanimous approval of Levy Board members, as the racing's representatives claimed that the final figure is too low.

The Guardian notes: "For the first time, it provides for a guaranteed minimum of income for racing, the big three firms and Betfair having committed to a base figure of GBP 45 million, though the scheme should provide GBP 72.4 million if projections prove accurate. That represents a small increase on the income from this year's scheme, according to the latest figures."

Also, the newspaper interviewed Nick Rust, managing director of Ladbrokes, who opined: "This is a sensible compromise that offers progress to both racing and bookmakers. We now need to start work immediately on a long-term settlement that builds on this progress and takes government out of the process for good."

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