The Jockey Club, the largest commercial group in British horseracing, which reinvests all profits back into the sport, today welcomed the news of £18m of additional voluntary contributions over the next four years from the UK's largest four retail bookmakers (William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred), in addition to a rollover in funding from the betting industry via the Horserace Betting Levy Board for the 53rd Levy Scheme. It is estimated this will yield more than £80m in total between 1st April 2014 and 31st March 2015.
Responding to the official announcement from the Horserace Betting Levy Board
, Simon Bazalgette, Group Chief Executive of The Jockey Club
, who was a member of racing's core negotiating team with the Big Four bookmakers, said:
“I’d like to thank William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred for this additional contribution to the Levy, which coupled with the rollover, amounts to a material increase to British racing’s funding. The Big Four join Betfair in going above and beyond what they have to do legally, supporting our sport and creating further value for the betting industry in the process.
“The Levy system puts you at loggerheads each year, which is not conducive to a long-term, mutually-beneficial relationship or reflective of the approach we take with betting firms as our partners. Let’s now use four years of greater certainty as a platform to work more closely with bookmakers to grow British racing for everyone’s benefit.
“It is imperative to work with Government and betting firms to make greater progress on a genuine commercial solution for the long-term. We must create a level playing field for all, which includes closing the major offshore loophole in the current Levy system. I welcome support from our Sports Minister, Helen Grant, on that score.”