Bookmakers may face sponsorship bans over levy contributions

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Bookmakers may face sponsorship bans over levy contributions

Postby The Fox » Thu Oct 22, 2015 4:55 pm

Bookmakers may face sponsorship bans over levy contributions

21 October 2015

Bookmakers in the UK that fail to pay an agreed amount in levy contributions in respect of their digital operations or have a commercial funding agreement in place may not be allowed to sponsor races held at tracks owned by Arena Racing Company (ARC) or the Jockey Club.

Under a new trial strategy devised by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), in partnership with the two companies, betting operators that comply with the new rules will be rewarded, while those that do not will face a ban from sponsorship activities at the racing venues.

Operators deemed to have a “fair and mutually sustainable funding relationship with the sport” will be designated as an ‘authorised betting operator’, while neither ARC nor the Jockey Club will enter into commercial deals with companies that do not have this status.

The BHA will introduce Authorised Betting Partners from January 2016.

Bet365, 32Red and Betfair have already been deemed authorised partners by the BHA, while Betfred, Coral, Ladbrokes and William Hill have made an additional voluntary contribution of £4.5 million (€6.1 million/$6.9 million) over the last year, with future commitments that meet the required criteria to result in these firms becoming authorised partners.

Nick Rust, chief executive of the BHA, said: “The concept of British racing working in a sustainable manner with betting operators is an important one.

“Every stakeholder in the sport must understand and take on their responsibly for the creation of the right structure to support the funding of our sport.

“This platform should help the government to complete its commitments to British racing to resolve the problems of the outdated Levy legislation with the introduction of a Racing Right to ensure a fair and equitable funding mechanism between the racing and betting industries.”

Independent racecourses not under the Jockey Club or ARC umbrella, such as York, Goodwood and Ascot, also issued a statement supporting a “collaborative and future-proofed approach to racing's relationship with the betting industry aimed at delivering an appropriate merit-based return for racing”.
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