The Guardian newspaper has reported that UK racing and betting stakeholders will meet today for a new round of discussions regarding the sports funding and the controversial Authorised Betting Partner (ABP) scheme implemented by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA).
With the relationship between UK racing and betting operators at its lowest ebb, discussions will focus on the levy % bookmakers should pay the sport from their online profits.
At present the ABP scheme racing levy has been supported by operators 32Red, bet365 and Betfair. Nevertheless, the majority of UK betting firms have rejected ABP terms, further stating that the BHA and its partners have neglected the historic contributions of the industry to the sport.
The ABP scheme has even managed to divided racing stakeholders as last December York Racecourse rejected its terms by allowing non ABP betting partners to sponsor race events in 2016.
Central to breaking the deadlock between the two parties, will be BHA Chief Executive Nick Rust and whether he can restructure levy terms and conditions between racing and the betting industry.
Entering talks, The Guardian stated that the majority of UK racing stakeholders were committed to the ABP ratecard of 7.5% published last December, stating that it represented a ‘fair return’ from UK bookmakers online betting activities.
A betting industry insider told the Guardian that expectations for any progress on the matter remained low as executives are expected to dig their heels in. Further negotiations will likely be expected as the start of the 2016 Cheltenham Festival approaches (15-18 March)