The peer of the House of Lords, raised concerns that foreign operated bookmakers targeting UK customers were excluded from compensations to the UK Horseracing Betting Levy Board (HBLB), who make grants to support the sport. Furthermore the peer stated that the foreign operators bookmakers (the majority operated online), offered the same services and betting markets for UK horse racing as British based bookmakers, hence amendments would be needed to the current Gambling Bill.
Lord Gardiner addressed fellow peers during the review of the UK Gambling Bill held last week at the House of Lords. Lord Gardiner’s address on the matter came after Lord Astor put forward an amendment that would have given ministers the power to extend the scope of the levy to overseas bookmakers. Lord Astor said racing lost about £10 million a year because overseas bookmakers did not have to pay the levy.
Lord Gardiner commented “We agree with the view that while we have a statutory levy, it should be fairly applied. We are persuaded that including a clause about extending the levy to offshore remote operators is fully in keeping with the context and the purpose of the Bill.”
For Labour, Lord Collins of Highbury said racing made a “significant” contribution to the UK economy. “Why should onshore betting operators and those based in betting shops pay the full levy while those based overseas who don’t have a voluntary agreement pay nothing?”
Lord Gardiner an advocate for amendment to the UK Gambling Bill, further stated that the House of Lords needed to tighten certain sections of the Bill, in order to combat match fixing and corruption in sports that could be related to sports betting. Lord Gardiner.
UK sports governing bodies had been invited to submit evidence about why the current gambling provisions were inadequate and the results would be considered. Lord Gardiner and other peers seek to bring further clarity on the debate of match fixing and prevention of corruption in sport.