Adam Afriyie, the MP for Windsor, has welcomed the Government’s recent reforms to the Horserace Betting Levy, which ensures a level playing field for betting shops and increases investment in grassroots horseracing.
From April 2017 online and offshore operators will be required to pay a levy on the profits made from bets on horseracing on parity with high street betting shops.
The proceeds from this revenue is hypothecated to grassroots investment in the horseracing industry, so any increased revenue will be recycled in support of the industry.
The MP for the Windsor constituency, Adam Afriyie welcomed the figures:
“Windsor has a very proud equine history so it excellent news that the Government is ensuring more support goes to grassroots horseracing, and crucially that it is doing so in a way that neither unfairly subsidises horseracing over other industries, but which does recognise its historical, cultural and economic importance.
“It’s also encouraging to see that the Government is ensuring there is a level playing field, so that our high street betting shops are not undercut by their less regulated online rivals who provide less oversight of their customers.
“Given that my constituency is home to two of the best race courses in the country, both the Ascot and the Royal Windsor, the success of Britain’s horseracing industry has a big impact on the local economy. I shall be following this area closely.”
Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, what assessment he has made of the effect of the April 2017 reforms to the Horserace Betting Levy on (a) horse-racing and (b) the public purse.
Tracey Crouch (Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Sport, Tourism and Heritage): In April 2017, the Government implemented reforms to the Horserace Betting Levy which made it a requirement for offshore operators to pay the Levy for the first time.
The Horserace Betting Levy Board, which collects the Levy, estimates that the reformed Levy will generate c.£85m in 2017/18. This would represent an increase of c.£20m compared to receipts from bookmakers in 2016/17 under the old system. The actual Levy yield for 2017/18 will only be known after the end of the financial year. Increased receipts from the Levy have already allowed an additional £9.7m of investment in grassroots prize money, contributing to record prize money of £160m in 2018.
The Levy is collected from bookmakers and distributed in line with the statutory purposes in support of horseracing, and so has no direct effect on the public purse.
Note to editors
- Adam Afriyie has been the MP for Windsor since 2005.
- To read more about Adam’s local priorities, including preventing a 3rd Runway at Heathrow, please click here.
- He has a strong background in science, technology and innovation.
- He is currently Chairman of the Fintech All Party Parliamentary Group, Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (POST) and President of the Conservative Science and Technology Forum (CSTF).