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Consultation on extending horseracing levy to overseas bookmakers published

Offshore operators will be required to contribute on the same basis and terms as those onshore 

The British Horseracing and betting industry are being asked for their views on extending the Horseracing Betting Levy to overseas bookmakers in a consultation published last week.

The Horseracing Betting Levy is a statutory levy (under the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963) on the gross profits of bets taken on British horseracing and is collected by the Horseracing Betting Levy Board. It is currently only collected from bookmakers whose operations are based in Britain because the current levy regime predates remote gambling.

The Government’s intention to extend the Horserace Betting Levy to overseas bookmakers was announced during the passage of the Gambling (Licensing and Advertising) Bill through Parliament, which received Royal Assent last May. The change will create a level playing field between on and offshore operators so that all will contribute to maintaining the quality of the sport of horseracing and also fund integrity, veterinary and breeding activities.

Minister for Sport and Gambling Helen Grant said:

The British horseracing industry is an important part of rural economies across the country, supporting jobs, businesses and growth. It is also a hugely popular sport. We want it to continue to thrive and, by extending the levy to overseas bookmakers, it will create a level playing field on contributions coming from both on and offshore operators to help maintain and improve the quality of the horseracing product.

The eight week public consultation entitled ‘Extending the Horserace Betting Levy - a consultation on implementation’, which closes on 21 August is seeking the views from those within the horseracing and betting sector in particular – on the practicalities of implementing an extension of the levy and how to extend it in the most effective way. It will also be of interest to those that benefit directly or indirectly from funding provided through the Levy, such as racecourses, breeding groups, veterinary groups, owners, trainers, stable staff and jockeys.

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