UK Culture Secretary John Whittingdale has today (Thursday) confirmed that he has plans to replace the current betting Levy system by April 2017.
Whittingdale outlined the government’s aim of pooling together income from betting on racing both in shops and online, although few details were revealed.
The racing industry welcomed the announcement, which appears to signal the end of the ‘Racing Right’ system, much criticised by the betting sector, outlined by Chancellor George Osborne last year.
“Our aim is to introduce a new funding arrangement for British racing by April 2017,” Whittingdale said:
“We will create a level playing field for British-based and offshore gambling operators, and ensure a fair return from all bookmakers to racing, including those based offshore.
“Racing will be responsible for making decisions on spending the new fund and we’ll be making further announcements shortly.”
British Horseracing Authority chief executive Nick Rust added: “Today’s announcement is one that should prove truly historic; the new funding model will ensure a fair transfer of funding to British racing based on all betting activity on the sport – a link that was first established in law in 1961.
“It meets all of racing’s requirements for a new funding model and can bear fruit in 2017, which is crucial given the significant Levy cliff we face.”