Sweeping Changes Proposed For UK Horse Racing Subsidy

UK government wants to do away with Horserace Betting Levy Board and empower the Gambling Commission to take up its responsibilities

Radical changes to the administration of the UK horse racing industry’s levy paid by bookmaking firms have been proposed by the government’s Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport in its second round of consultative proposals.

These include shutting down the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) via a Legislative Reform Order (LRO) which will transfer of responsibility from the HBLB to the Gambling Commission; the transfer of responsibility for expenditure decisions to the racing industry; and consequently the end of the Horserace Betting Levy Appeal tribunals.

Under the proposals the Gambling Commission will take over responsibility for collecting the mandatory levy from bookmakers, reducing administration costs in order to ensure that the bulk of the levy goes to the horse racing industry.

“In addition to increasing the amount of funding available to the horseracing industry, it is envisaged that transferring the collection function to the Gambling Commission will also provide opportunities to streamline processes for betting operators, thereby reducing the administrative inconveniences and financial costs for businesses of complying with the Levy,” the DCMS proposal suggests.

The proposal goes on to justify the need to let the British horse racing industry “decide on the allocation and distribution of Levy funds.”

Offshore bookmakers are included in the levy for the first time in the reforms so far.

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Brian Cullingworth

Brian Cullingworth

Infopowa news was a staple of Casinomeister’s news from 2000 until 2019. Brian Cullingworth was the main writer, contributor, and was one of the most knowledgeable persons I have ever known involved in the online casino industry.

We first met in January 2001 at the ICE in London where I observed him going booth to booth interviewing online casino, software, and licensing jurisdiction representatives. Brian was also heavily involved with our forum as “Jetset“, he was involved as an informal consultant to eCOGRA, the OPA, and was a player advocate who assisted countless aggrieved players with his connections to industry folks. He also published “Casino Cautions” via Infopowa news for quite a number of years. These can be found in our news archives.

His passing in February 2019 was a dark day for us. He will be forever missed.

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