Thursday 7 October 2010

At a time when the RCA and racecourses are working hard, in partnership with the Horsemen and BHA, to increase the popularity of the sport through the Racing for Change project, the future of Racing is being seriously undermined by the collapse in Levy revenues.

These were over £110m just a few years ago and the projected figure for 2011 is less than £70m.

This collapse is in large part due to betting companies exploiting the current Levy system for example, moving offshore to avoid payment.
The low levels of prize money for lower class Racing are a direct result of loopholes in the Levy system. The recent prize money agreements between the racecourses and the Horsemen, by maintaining most fixtures, will be essential in limiting further reductions in Levy income and in providing additional prize money, but they can only make up a small part of the Levy lost.
Given the large reductions in Levy income and there being little prospect of other income sources increasing in 2011, including media rights, meeting these prize money agreements has already stretched the racecourses resources.
The RCA joined together with all the constituent parts of British Racing (BHA, NASS, NTF, PJA, ROA and TBA) as Racing United to launch our charter to ensure that Government and all politicians understand the very serious nature of this problem. We are heartened by the support already received from politicians, key figures in the industry and the general public.
Stephen Atkin, RCA Chief Executive, said today;
“We are, together with the Horsemen and the BHA, calling on all those who work in horseracing or who, like us, care passionately about the sport to sign the Racing United Charter.  This will demonstrate clearly to Government the need for urgent action to fix the loopholes which allow many betting operators to avoid paying a fair return to horseracing.“
The charter is available to view and sign online at www.racingunited.org.uk.
For further information please contact Stephen Atkin on01344 873538 or info@racecourseassociation.co.uk
What is the Charter?:
The Racing United Charter calls for the Government to:
  1. No longer permit the offshore betting industry to avoid its Levy obligations
  2. Ensure betting exchanges and their bookmaker (business) users pay a fair commercial return to British Racing
  3. Scrap threshold rules that currently exempt more than 60% of betting shops from paying the full rate of Levy
  4. Include payments for customers in Britain placing bets on overseas racing
Please view the Charter and sign online at www.racingunited.org.uk.

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