The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has named Betfair as its first ‘authorised betting partner’ (ABP) having agreed a three year deal which will see the operator pay a percentage of racing revenues for its betting services.
Betfair who have voluntarily supported the 54th levy scheme since its first announcement in September, is the first bookmaker to gain official ABP status.
Racing news sources report that the bookmaker will be further joined by operators’ bet365 and 32Red, who have been deemed by racing stakeholders as contributors to a “fair and mutually sustainable funding relationship with the sport”.
Betfair’s racing contribution will be determined by the new rate card set by the BHA, the Racecourse Association and the Horsemen’s Group which is set to operate under a new members’ agreement.
BHA chief executive Nick Rust said: “We are delighted to have signed up our first authorised betting partner under a multi-year deal, and welcome the enlightened approach taken by Betfair.
“They clearly value our sport and recognise the interdependence between Racing and Betting, as well as the benefits associated with being an authorised betting partner, in particular from the commercial parties in British Racing that are signing up to the model.
The new levy scheme continues to divide the betting industry. This week Fred Done owner of Betfred stated to the Racing Post that his company were prepared to walk away from the sport, if its stakeholders do not change their stance regarding racing sponsorship.
The levy stand-off has seen the Cheltenham Gold Cup and Sprint Cup at Haydock, both previously backed by Betfred, without a sponsor for 2016 following the governing bodies’ preference to enter into commercial arrangements with ‘levy-friendly bookmakers’.