The UK government announced the plan to introduce a 10% levy on profit to the UK racing industry. Effective April 2017, this change will apply to all betting operators, regardless of whether they are based in the UK or elsewhere, be they on-course, off-course, retail, online, pool betting operators, betting exchanges or spread betting sites.
This setup will replace the Horserace Betting Levy which is the current system in the UK. It states that only the companies that are based in the UK have to pay the levy, with bookmakers facing a 10% levy on the gross profits above the first £500,000.
“This move will help secure the future of horse racing in Britain by making sure that gambling firms pay a fair return to support the sport. Horse racing has a strong heritage in this country, employing thousands of people and is enjoyed by many almost every day of the year. This new approach to the Horserace Betting Levy will help sustain and develop the sport,” stated Tracey Crouch, The Minister for Sports, Tourism and Heritage.
Nick Rust, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, added that such changes are “critical to the future health of British racing”.
In the meantime, operators are threatening to take legal actions over proposed changes, but chief executive of the Remote Gambling Association Clive Hawkswood is stating that this move will not take place until after the European Union review process has been completed.
“There is a passing reference to the need for them to obtain state aid clearance and that remains a significant hurdle for them to overcome.It would be premature to talk about legal challenges until that process [of notifying the EU] is complete and that could take months,” explained Hawkswood.