British horseracing to push for levy reforms

British horseracing to push for levy reforms

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) says there is agreement in the industry over the case for reforms.

UK.- The British Horseracing Authority has said the industry will prepare to make an immediate case for levy reforms. 

It says the industry will campaign for a greater share of bets on international racing to obtain a level playing field with Europe.

The announcement comes as the authority publishes plans for the recovery of British racing following the Covid-19 pandemic.

The BHA said in the publication: “There is agreement that racing should be making a case for immediate levy reform, seeking a level playing-field with other European racing nations after Brexit, through a fair return from bets placed on international racing. 

“Sustainable prosperity is a longer-term goal but most resources will be focused on the shorter-term financial health of the industry.”

The recovery plan for racing has been agreed by the BHA, The Horsemen’s Group and Racecourse Association (RCA).

It focuses on retaining owners and key investors while aiming to attract customers once racecourses reopen to the general public

The plan aims to establish a fixtures programme that can accommodate owner costs while maintaining public appeal, to keep the industry’s cost-base as low as possible and to secure sustainable foundations for long-term growth.

BHA CEO Nick Rust said: “It’s very important that this plan has been agreed by leaders from all parts of the racing industry. We know from the way we prepared to resume racing in June that working together works. 

‘The commitment shown by leaders in signing up to this recovery plan demonstrates a continued willingness to maintain a unified approach through the tough battles ahead.”

David Armstrong, CEO of the RCA, stated: “The whole industry worked very well to enable racing to return as the first major sport behind closed doors.  Now we have to renew that collaboration as we enter this recovery phase and move beyond that into 2021.  

“This plan brings together all the necessary components in one clear action plan with some ambitious goals.

“From a racecourse perspective the return of racegoers and the experience for owners are clear priorities that are already underway and we look forward to the wider recovery of the sport.”

The plan establishes 10 collaborative industry goals, including the creation of a centralised spending plan to allocate funds and resources.

It also outlines reforms of rules on racing syndicates and clubs to increase investment options and maximise appeal for new owners.

British horseracing was suspended from mid-March to July 1 due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and meetings since July have been held without public. The industry depends on racegoers for 50 per cent of its income.

 On-course bookmakers returned to racecourses last week as part of a two-week trial but without crowds are only offering services to owners.

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