In an unprecedented move, the Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) directly contributed a whopping £455m ($582m) to British horseracing in 2022. This generous contribution came in various forms including levy, media rights, and sponsorship deals.
Anticipated Increase in the Horseracing Levy
Interestingly, the Horserace Betting Levy Board projects a significant increase in levy payments for the year 2022/2023, with estimates reaching £99m, a figure that nearly doubles the £50m recorded in 2016/2017. This projected increase is set to occur amidst the Department for Culture, Media and Sport’s commitment to review the Horseracing Levy in the coming year.
The Horseracing Levy, overseen by the Horserace Betting Levy Board, plays a crucial role in enhancing the sport, advancing veterinary care, and promoting breeding. Despite witnessing a 10.3% drop in betting turnover over the last five years, the BGC has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to British horseracing through increased donations.
Future of Betting and Racing: A Symbiotic Relationship?
The BGC’s remarkable contribution comes at a time when discussions are underway regarding potential future levy increases following the White Paper’s recommendations. The council is eager to underline its current support, which arguably serves as a testament to its commitment even amidst challenging economic conditions.
BGC CEO, Michael Dugher, expressed his thoughts on the matter: “Betting continues to bankroll the sport but it is not a bottomless pit. I know racing, just like any other sport and indeed our own land-based betting and gaming industry with games such as Baccarat, Craps and Live Casino, is trying to bounce back post-Covid in the face of seriously challenging economic headwinds.”
Dugher further emphasized the BGC’s dedication to working closely with the leadership of the sport, including the BHA and others, to ensure that racing does not merely survive, but thrives in these challenging times. He concluded with a passionate statement, “Anyone who cares passionately about the sport, as I do, understands that racing must change. Future investment must come with reform.”