UK Chancellor George Osborne used his 2015 Budget announcement to unveil plans for the introduction of a new Racing Right under which bookmakers will pay for the right to accept bets on British racing.
The UK has been operating under a Levy system, which has returned money to the racing industry from off-course betting, for more than 50 years.
However, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) has been pushing for a Racing Right for several years, with the increase in online betting leading to many major gambling operators relocating offshore.
Such moves by these companies mean they avoid both betting duty and the Levy obligations that would attach to cash bets placed on UK high streets.
The UK government recently adopted new regulations to tax online bets on a point of consumption basis, with the new Racing Right seemingly forcing offshore companies to transfer a portion of racing profits back to the sport.
The BHA responded positively to the announcement, with chief executive Nick Rust stating that the move would provide a “welcome and tremendous boost” to the UK racing industry.
The government, the minister for sport and tourism, Helen Grant MP, and politicians from the major parties all recognise the importance of a fair and sustainable funding mechanism for British racing,
Rust said in a statement.
British racing has a collective desire for a modern and direct relationship with the betting industry, and believe that a Racing Right is the best solution to achieve this, and to secure the long-term prosperity of our sport and those within it. We are still in the situation whereby the vast majority of bets placed by punters outside of betting shops are making no contribution to the central finances of the sport.
This is unsustainable, and there is recognition that this needs to change.
However, the Association of British Bookmakers (ABB) has hit out at the new plans, claiming that such a system would be “unworkable”.
According to the Guardian newspaper, an ABB spokesperson said: “Unfortunately, we believe the Racing Right is unworkable and the detail will derail it, leaving racing seriously underfunded for a considerable length of time. It will be mired in legal and other issues for many, many years.
Arguably, the proceeds from the right will not even be able to be distributed until legal certainty is obtained, with racing being the main loser.
Source : www.igamingbusiness.com
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