New Levy agreement for British racing
09:51 AEST Fri Oct 25 2013

British racing has secured a four-year agreement with the four largest retail bookmakers to make voluntary contributions of STG4.5 million ($A7.61 million) a year the newly-created Incentive Fund.

Taking effect from April 2014, the payments from William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred will be managed by a new distribution group made up of representatives from the Levy Board, British Horseracing Authority, Racecourse Association, Horsemen's Group and the bookmakers.

As part of the arrangement, the four bookmakers have agreed to underwrite a combined contribution payable through the statutory Levy of not less than STG47.5 million ($A80.30 million) per year, as well as the voluntary contributions.

With the announcement of the 53rd Levy Scheme also arriving, total income to the Levy Board from bookmakers in 2014-15 is estimated to reach STG80.2 million, including Betfair's STG7.8 million contribution.

"We are delighted to have reached an arrangement with racing, which will see the biggest four bookmakers in Britain inject an additional STG18 million into British racing over the next four years," a joint statement from the bookmakers said.

"This addition to our normal statutory Levy payments will ensure that the four companies underwrite a minimum STG 52 million per year to the Levy Board.

"British racing is a core product in our betting offices and we want to see it grow and thrive."

BHA chief executive Paul Bittar said it was a positive step forward.

"This additional funding, coupled with a continuation of the underwrite, brings a degree of certainty and considerable upside in the coming years," Bittar said.

"Importantly, the arrangement places the emphasis on joint efforts with the betting industry to make the racing product even more compelling, and competitive year-round."

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