DCMS Gambling Minister, Stuart Andrew, has stated that the government has heard UK racing’s call to improve funding of the heritage sport.
The statement was made at the ‘Parade Ring Reception’ hosted by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) at the House of Commons on 5 September. The event showcased to MPs the importance of horseracing to the UK’s economy, safeguarding jobs and enhancing livelihoods.
The BHA noted the Commons reception had hosted 37 MPs and Peers engaging with 60 racing industry figureheads, including senior representatives from businesses across the British racing industry.
The event saw the BHA highlight the work of its associate organisations’ CareersinRacing, GBRI, Horse Welfare Board, National Racehorse Week, The Jockey Club, Racehorse Owners Association, and Racing Together.
BHA CEO, Julie Harrington called for MPs to support changes to the racing levy to improve the sport’s funding model to help secure a “vibrant and prosperous future”. In which UK racing maintains is stature of “elite global standing”.
Delivering his address, Minister Andrew specifically noted: “The BHA has made its case regarding the substantial funding gap in racing, making it challenging to compete with jurisdictions like the Republic of Ireland and France.
“They’ve presented potential solutions to address this gap, such as revising the scope and rate of the Levy. As we review these proposals, our goal is to arrive at an evidence-based conclusion. I emphasize the need for racing and betting industries to collaborate, as a mutual agreement on the Levy would benefit all.”
Andrew concluded by encouraging British racing to actively participate in the Gambling Commission’s consultation. He assured that any changes would be implemented only when confident of a seamless experience for the majority.
The BHA reaffirmed its commitment to work diligently regarding the Horserace Betting Levy Board and the government’s assessment of the Gambling Act, promising updates in the near future.