Gala Coral Group unsuccesfuly seeked a compromise with the British Horse Racing Authority

Gala Coral Group unsuccesfuly seeked a compromise with the British Horse Racing Authority

The Authorised Betting Partner (ABP) scheme the BHA implemented to limit racing sponsorship opportunities, is affecting UK bookies.

UK.- The British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) created the Authorised Betting Partner scheme, limiting sponsorship opportunities to bookmakers. This new framework in force since January 1st, applies to bookies who bet over 7.5 percent of their online racing revenue in addition with the 10.75 percent share of retail betting.

Gala Coral Group’s CEO, Carl Leaver, sent a letter to the Racing Post, proposing a compromise. In the missive, Leaver claims they would “happily” pay 7.5 percent on online race betting revenue as long as the retail levy is reduced to 7.5 percent. He also explained that whilst race betting revenue has plummeted 18 percent to £124m (US$ 177.24m) in the past seven years, the group’s racing costs, which comprises media rights, sponsorship and levy fees, has amounted to £48m (US$ 68.6m) experiencing an increase of 45 percent .

On its part, the British Horse Racing Authority (BHA) stated that Leaver’s 7.5 percent proposal was “not a realistic starting point for negotiations,” accusing the CEO’s of not factoring in the side benefits of non-racing wagers that punters are allowed to place when they make their racing bets. The BHA disregards Leaver’s claims of elevated media rights expenses as it considers that the increased investment “reflects the importance betting operators place on British Racing.”  The BHA finalised its statement noting that UK bookies gladly pay a 1 percent betting turnover whilst they place bets in Ireland, which contributes to the €6m (US$ 8.58m) Irish racing is set to receive every year.

Leaver’s offer has won the support of the UK’s largest independent retail betting chain, as Greg Knight, managing director of JenningsBet, told the Mail he is in favour of a compromise between retail and online levy rates, which he considers would be beneficial to the sector. “If the retail rate were reduced, then anyone would find it incredibly hard to justify not paying anything from their offshore betting,” Knight said.