Statement on the 51st Levy Scheme

1st November 2011

Simon Bazalgette, Group Chief Executive of The Jockey Club

Simon Bazalgette, Group Chief Executive of The Jockey Club

Simon Bazalgette, Group Chief Executive of The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British horseracing, said: "We are pleased this deal provides some certainty for next year's fixture funding and promises to return more than we are receiving currently from the 50th Levy Scheme*.

However, we are disappointed with the level given the £1bn gross win the betting industry continues to enjoy just from UK bets on our sport.

"I understand the majority of large firms were willing to go further and have provided guarantees for their Levy payments as part of this deal. They should be commended for the constructive approach they have taken in negotiating this 51st Scheme, which undoubtedly is a positive sign for the future.

"To deliver these returns, it is clear staging nearly as much racing as this year is necessary. I look forward to the 2012 fixture list being finalised as quickly as possible, but these tight funding constraints mean prize money will continue to be squeezed.

"British racing is the best in the world, but that remains under threat from this unsustainable, low Levy funding. We need to see rapid progress in the modernisation of this critical funding for a healthier and more sustainable future for all concerned. The healthier British racing, the greater the benefits we can offer to the betting industry.

"All parts of the betting industry need a level playing field to compete, while racing needs a fair return from the profits made on our sport and the provisions we make for betting. As with these negotiations, The Jockey Club will continue to play our part to ensure that becomes a reality."

*The figure for the 51st Scheme falls just short of the range set for the 50th Scheme by Jeremy Hunt at Determination (£73.7m to £80.8m). However, with loopholes in the Levy system remaining open, British racing is receiving approximately 20 percent less than this projected yield, hence this new agreement relates to an increase.