BHA boss hails government proposals

Nick Rust, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, has welcomed the news that a reformed Levy system is set to be implemented in April.

The Government has announced plans to reform the Levy to ensure that all operators who takes bets on British racing from customers based in Britain will have to pay 10 per cent of their gross profits above the first £500,000 they make.

The current system has been in existence since 1961 but has become outdated and while some offshore firms have been making voluntary contributions towards British racing, it is not compulsory.

The Government is hoping to implement the new scheme in April this year and it will be enforced via a statutory Horserace Betting Levy, although it remains subject to approval from Europe over State Aid rules, a caveat which bookmakers believe could see the proposals thrown out.

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Rust believes the reformed system as announced by Minister For Sport Tracey Crouch will provide a "significant uplift" in the funding of the sport – a potential yield for racing of £90million has been reported, compared to £54million from the last statutory Levy deal.

He said: "I welcome today's announcement from Government regarding the implementation of the Levy replacement which will restore to racing a return from all betting on our sport at a fair and proportionate rate. This is critical to the future health of British racing.

"Once the new system is implemented in April 2017, we will see a significant uplift in the sport's central funding that will benefit our participants and the many local communities which racing supports across all corners of the country.

"Everyone in British racing would like to extend their thanks to Tracey Crouch and her dedicated team at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport.

"British racing is committed to working closely with our partners in the British betting industry to make a success of this new environment, and grow what is the most natural, exciting betting product to the future advantage of both our industries and the wider economy."

Read More at Sporting Life

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