Simon Bazalgette, Group Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British horseracing, today welcomed The Chancellor of the Exchequer's 2014 Budget statement, which included good news for Britain's second biggest sport.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced that the Horserace Betting Levy, which is a key funding mechanism for British racing, will be extended to betting firms based offshore.
He also said that the Government will look at wider reform of the 50-year-old funding system, which could include introducing a 'racing right' to receive a return on every bet taken on British racing to help to create a level playing field among the betting industry and support the long-term health of the sport.
"The Chancellor's statements today are hugely welcome for Britain's second biggest sport. Racing returns around £3.45bn each year to the UK economy, yet receives significantly less funding than other jurisdictions, such as France and Ireland.
"We look forward to working with the Government and our betting industry partners to create a level playing field for all concerned to thrive. All will benefit from a sound commercial basis to grow the appeal and scale of British racing in the years to come."
The British Horseracing Authority led racing's response to the Budget. Its Chief Executive, Paul Bittar
“Today’s announcement by the Chancellor represents a major milestone in our efforts to secure the future finances of our industry.
“For too long we have sought a funding mechanism which reflects the nature of the modern Racing and Betting industries. Today’s commitment brings us considerably closer to achieving this goal, and securing the future prosperity of one of the country’s leading sports, and a major employer across the country.
“We look forward to engaging positively in both consultation processes, on Levy extension to offshore operators and wider Levy reform or replacement, in the coming months.”
The full text of the 2014 Budget Statement and further information can be found here