BHA backs government’s ‘industry judgement’ as DCMS seeks to extend Racing Levy’s reach

The British Horseracing Association (BHA), the regulatory body for UK racing has welcomed the government’s betting industry triennial review judgement.

Despite the far-reaching impacts of the government’s decision to cut FOBTs machine wagering to a £2 limit, and further increase UK remote betting/gaming duties to offset treasury tax shortfalls, the BHA supports the industry changing decision.

“The British Horseracing Authority (BHA), on behalf of the British racing industry, welcomes the government’s determination to address the issues raised by problem gambling. We called for change during the consultation and we can see the government has acted decisively” details BHA in its corporate update.

BHA governance details that it will work with DCMS to redevelop theUK Race Levy’, which was reformed in April 2017, to cover remote wagering on UK racing events.

In its announcement, the regulator published a letter from DCMS leader Matt Hancock to BHA Chairman Steve Harman, detailing that DCMS would look extend the levy to ‘global racing bets placed within Britain’.

BHA governance believes the levy extension could partially offset potential reductions in income, which will follow today’s decision.

The BHA’s Chairman, Steve Harman, commented: “We are grateful to the Secretary of State for his continued commitment to our industry. His letter today shows how he is planning to further support racing jobs, the rural economy and our future sustainability. We support his desire to reduce problem-gambling without harming Britain’s second-biggest spectator sport”.

In the months prior to the government’s judgement, the leadership of FTSE betting firms had warned DCMS, that implementing a drastic FOBTs cut would lead to a UK-wide reduction is sports sponsorships.

Nick Rust, BHA

Updating the market, BHA Chief Executive Nick Rust has acknowledged racing’s relationship with the betting industry, stating that the regulator would work with all stakeholders to reduce risks and impacts moving forward.

“British racing shares a unique interdependency with the betting industry and we recognise that this decision will affect jobs in the betting industry, with which we work closely in partnership. We want betting on horseracing – on the High Street, at racecourses and online – to continue to be accepted as legitimate and socially responsible. Recreational betting has been a part of racing for centuries and is an accepted entertainment pursuit during a day at the races or on the High Street.” Rust detailed.

“Our industry’s leaders – who have worked together throughout this consultation – will now work with the betting industry and Government as to how we can grow such legitimate, socially responsible betting activity on racing and take measures to address problem gambling wherever we can.”

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