Chancellor George Osborne Calls For Racing Betting Right To Replace Levy
Chancellor George Osborne is not the most popular person amongst UK bookies. His efforts have seen UK bookies hit hard by all sorts of sanctions including the point of consumption tax and the imminent crackdown on fixed odds betting terminals.
Well it seems there is another surprise for UK bookies, this time in the racing industry. Osborne announced in the Budget that the government will be supporting a Racing Betting Right which is set to replace the current levy which funds the sport. The plan is to introduce legislation that will replace the Levy as the primary funding source of the sport. The current Levy has been in place since 1963 when betting was legalized.
The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) is supporting the bill as they believe with online betting the system has to be updated as a large portion of bets were place outside the traditional betting shops. This is costing the industry over £25 million pounds in lost revenues. Just like the point of consumption tax, the new levy would apply to all bookmakers who take bets from British customers irrespective of their location.
Chief executive of the BHA welcomed the new initiative and said,” We are still in the situation whereby the vast majority of bets placed by punters outside of betting shops are making no contribution to the central finances of the sport. This is unsustainable, and there is recognition that this needs to change.”
The proposed legislation will not be passed without fierce opposition from UK bookmakers. A spokesperson for the Association of British Bookmakers made it clear that they will not allow this legislation to be passed without a fight. The statement said,” We believe a Racing Right is unworkable. It will be mired in legal issues for years and years.”