Newmarket’s MP backs betting levy changes

Matt Hancock rides out on Our Vic during a visit to the British Racing School in Newmarket  in 2013 ENGANL00120130118115057
Matt Hancock rides out on Our Vic during a visit to the British Racing School in Newmarket in 2013 ENGANL00120130118115057

West Suffolk MP Matt Hancock has backed the shake-up of the Horserace Betting Levy announced yesterday.

Mr Hancock said today: “After six years of hard work by many people, I am delighted that the outdated Horserace Betting Levy is to be replaced.

“I pay tribute to the impeccably even-handed role [sports minister] Tracey Crouch has played in developing this balanced approach which will bring stability and security to racing finances.

“Crucially, as a permanent arrangement, racing and betting can now work better together on agreed terms for the future.”

The Government says the move will ensure any gambling business that takes bets from consumers based in Britain on races held in this country will pay 10 per cent of their gross profits from racing, above the first £500,000 they make, to support the sport and the equine industry.

It will be enforced by a reformed statutory Horserace Betting Levy.

In a statement the Department for Culture, Media and Sport said: “The Levy has been in existence since 1961 but has become outdated. Under the current levy system offshore online betting businesses that take bets on British racing are under no statutory obligation to contribute to horseracing, although some make voluntary contributions.”

The Government intends to introduce the new funding scheme in April 2017. This is subject to receiving state aid approval.