UK Sport Minister to set 10% bookmaker charge for UK Racing levy

By Dhanum Nursigadoo
The UK Racing Levy Scheme has caught the attention of national press once more, as UK Sports Minister Tracey Crouch informed industry stakeholders the Department of Culture, Media and Sports will impose a 10% gross profit charge on all racing wagers regardless if placed online or at a retail bookmaker.

Since the Brexit start date has been announced, the previous conflict between the use of state aid and contravening EU law may no longer be an issue, streamlining the process and explaining why the racing levy has been reintroduced to discussion after it was quietly sidelined in April this year.

The new levy charge for both retail and digital betting aims to raise £100 million for UK racing but is likely to yield a sum in the £90 millions.

UK retail operators Ladbrokes, Coral, William Hill and Betfred have not yet committed to levy terms for their online betting platforms.

Bookmakers have publicly hit back at UK racing chiefs’ imposing bans on advertising and sponsoring racing events for not committing to the levy and its Authorised Betting Partner scheme.

The Levy Board which acts for the British Horseracing Authority, The Racecourse Association and the Horsemen’s Group referred the scheme to the UK Government after negotiations with the bookmaking industry broke down in November 2015.

Representatives of racing and betting are due to meet with Crouch at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport separately on Wednesday and have been given until November 4 to make their final representations in writing.

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