Horserace Betting Levy Board Agrees 2015/16 Scheme

Unanimous agreement on Bookmakers' Committee's recommendations

The historically contentious horserace betting levy were unanimously agreed by the UK Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB), this week.

Recommendations from the Bookmakers' Committee for the terms of the 54th Levy Scheme over the period April 1, 2015 to March 31, 2016, estimate a yield of GBP 75.3 million which includes Betfair's estimated GBP 7.8 million contribution.

In addition to the agreement on the 54th Levy Scheme, the four largest retail bookmakers, William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred, have agreed to continue to underwrite a combined contribution payable through the statutory Levy of not less than GBP 47.5 million in the 54th Levy Scheme period. This is the same sum underwritten by the firms in respect of the 53rd Levy Scheme period.

Paul Lee, Chairman of the Levy Board, said:

"The agreement of the 54th Levy Scheme provides certainty and stability for all parties and is very good news all round.

"I am particularly grateful to the Bookmakers' Committee for making its detailed recommendations as early as September and for the constructive approach taken by Racing's appointees to the Board. I would also like to thank the four largest retail bookmakers for their commitment to maintain their underwritten contribution at the same level as applies to the 53rd Levy Scheme."

Will Roseff, Chairman of the Bookmakers' Committee, added: "Today's unanimous endorsement by the Levy Board is further evidence of bookmakers, Racing and the Levy Board working together productively and augurs well for the future."

"Racing's representatives welcomed the Bookmakers' Committee putting forward recommendations in good time ahead of the 31st October annual deadline along with continuation of the Levy underwrite which provides certainty of key expenditure including prize money and integrity services," said Paul Bittar, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority. Our attentions are now focused on the Government's consultation on fundamental reform or replacement of the Levy and establishing a modern relationship with an evolving betting industry, and we will continue to work actively with bookmakers to this end."

The 54th Levy Scheme will in most respects continue the terms of the 53rd Levy Scheme with a headline rate of Levy at 10.75 percent of bookmakers' gross profits on British racing, and with uprating for inflation, the thresholds applicable to Licensed Betting Offices (LBOs) and the fixed-sum payments in certain other categories.

Details of the 54th Levy Scheme include:

Each Licensed Betting Office (LBO) will pay 10.75 percent of its gross profits on British Horserace Betting Business (BHBB). An abated rate will apply to those operators with 100 or fewer LBOs.

Each telephone and/or internet operator will pay 10.75 percent of its combined gross profits on BHBB.

Each spread betting operator will pay 2.15 percent of its gross profits on BHBB.

Each bet-broker including betting exchanges will pay on a basis equivalent to 10.75 percent of its gross profits, defined as gross commission on BHBB deducted from the winnings paid out to bettors and bet-takers.

Each on-course bookmaker will pay a fixed contribution of GBP 240.

Each bookmaker conducting BHBB on Point-to-Point and/or Harness Racing and/or trotting events will pay a fixed contribution of GBP 192.

For LBOs with gross profit on BHBB of less than GBP 60,000, a FRR of GBP 1,100 will be available on the first 30 LBOs in a bookmaker's chain and GBP 500 for all remaining LBOs with gross profits below this figure.

Marginal relief will be available for LBOs with profit between GBP 60,001 and GBP 60,999. No FRR can be claimed on LBOs with gross profit on BHBB over GBP 61,000. This will be a sum deducted from the bookmaker's 54th Levy Scheme liability during the year-end reconciliation.

A Flat Rate Rebate of GBP 758 for the first 30 LBOs in any chain and GBP 191 for all other LBOs).

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