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The UK media is speculating that a clash between bookmaking firms and the horseracing industry may be imminent over falling income from the levy paid by bookies to support the British horseracing industry.
The industry is concerned at last year’s 20 percent decline to GBP91.6 million in the levy paid by bookies, which is based on a percentage of the money made from off-course betting. Adding to their worries are estimates that the 2010 levy is expected to drop to GBP76.5 million, a fall of a further 17 percent.
Horseracing authorities claim that the decline is caused by bookmakers “exploiting loopholes in the regulations,” saying that one tactic has been to move online betting businesses offshore.
The levy is racing’s principle funding stream and contributes to stable lad and jockey salaries as well as towards training and veterinary research and education. It flows primarily through prize money awarded for each race.
This Wednesday will see a board meeting at which horseracing authorities will decide on the new fee, which they want to structure so as to deliver a yield of between GBP130 million and GBP150 million. It is also expected that they will call on the UK government to close the loopholes such as those presented by UK companies moving their internet betting structures offshore..