Sun, 3 December 2023

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By Wilfred Emmanuel-Jones
By Lord Thurso
Press releases

Budget 2015: George Osborne's Racing Right deemed 'unworkable'

Association of British Bookmakers

2 min read Partner content

The Chancellor’s announcement of a new Racing Right in today’s Budget has been branded “unworkable” by a leading trade association.     

George Osborne confirmed plans this afternoon for a charge on bookmakers pay for the right to take bets on British racing.  

However, a spokesperson for the Association of British Bookmakers said: “Unfortunately, we believe the Racing Right is unworkable and the detail will derail it, leaving Racing seriously underfunded for a considerable length of time.

“It will be mired in legal and other issues for many, many years. Arguably the proceeds from the Right will not even be able to be distributed until legal certainty is obtained, with racing being the main loser.

“Our members already pay 10.75% of their gross profits from their UK horseracing business to Racing and, together with media rights and sponsorship, the transfer from our members to Racing is some £248m, an incredible amount that has to be enough.

“One has to ask where the £173m paid to racecourses for media rights goes?

“It is therefore incredibly disappointing that DCMS and Racing appear to suggest 10.75% is a “low estimate” and that the Impact Assessment accompanying the Consultation models a 50% GPT rate, an increase of close to 500%.

“We are concerned that the fact that Racing has not sought to publically distance itself from the modelled rates shows the very real danger of Racing over-pricing the Right resulting in yet more litigation.

“We do however believe in a continued sensible dialogue with Racing to try and achieve a solution that meets the concerns of both these great industries.”

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