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Horseracing Betting Levy Board anticipates record PS105m contributions

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In 2023-24 the Horserace Betting Levy Board is expecting to collect a record PS105m ($134m/EUR123m). The Betting and Gaming Council has praised the members’ commitment to the program.

Both BGC and HBLB claim that this contribution will be 5 million PS more than in the last financial year. This will be the third year in a row that levy payments have increased. The total amount is expected to exceed the PS100m that was paid out in 2022-2023, and PS97m from 2021-2022.

The additional funding has allowed the HBLB to raise prize money from PS3.2m up to PS70.5m.

Paul Darling, HBLB’s chairman said that the trend seen at the end of 2020-23 continued. The bookmakers are making more money and the betting turnover is down. The board expected to earn around what was anticipated based on the reports and analyses from the HBLB executives during the past year.

The board is more comfortable with its commitments to spend money in 2024. It also has greater flexibility for deciding on options for the year 2025.

BGC CEO welcomes news as “extremely welcomed”

Michael Dugher, BGC’s CEO and Acting Chair Michael Dugher, praised the members commitment to 2023-24. The record contribution was “very welcome” to him and showed how British horse racing is supported by regulated betting.

Dugher stated that “despite a decline of double-digits in the horserace betting turnover in the last five years, and a decline of double-digits in the racecourse attendances,” levy payments and prize money were both on the rise. This is a timely reminder to racing that it could not exist without the financial support flowing from the betting.”

Our members are committed to the success of the horseracing industry and its economic impact, particularly in rural areas.

The focus must be on how to challenge the vested interest, bring about real changes and reform the sports, in order to reverse the decline of the racing industry and ensure that it has a long-term, sustainable future.

Horseracing industry commitment

The BGC, British Horseracing Authority, and government are working together to reach a resolution on the new voluntary levies to support the horseracing.

As part of the Grand National Charity Betting effort, BGC also raised PS15,000 last month.

The BGC invites MPs to bet on charity each year at the Grand National, the showpiece of horseracing. All winnings are donated to the charity chosen by each MP.

BGC has also announced a new voluntary measure that operators can use to comply with the code. The BGC has also announced a new measure for operators who participate in its voluntary code.

Both the new Code on Customer Checks and the frictionless affordability check of Gambling Commission will be incorporated into one document. On 1 May, the official pilot scheme was revealed. The timeline for implementation of the other proposals in the white paper of the first round consultations on the Gambling Act Review is also included.

The BGC stated that the code, which was developed with the Commission’s support and is backed up by the government, will be a voluntary scheme.

It brings uniformity across all regulated sectors for those operators that adopt it. It is only a matter of time before the frictionless assessments of financial risks set forth in the whitepaper can be tested, developed and implemented.

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