Thursday July 7, 2011 : Bookmakers Association says no to proposed "state-sponsored monopoly"
British horseracing groups have arrived at a solution in response to a pre-consultation launched by UK Minister John Penrose to solve a funding crisis in the racing industry.
Racing believes that declining Levy returns, forecast to reach GBP 56 million as opposed to the GBP 86 million target set by the Government, are attributed to the exodus of major bookmakers to offshore havens.
As a result the industry is proposing legalization that would require operators offering markets on UK Racing to "purchase the right to bet" reports British newspaper, The Telegraph.
"We are absolutely not afraid of testing the strength of our sport in a proper commercial market," said Chris Brand, acting chief executive of the British Horseracing Association.
To this end, racings fixtures would have to be declared intellectual property through legalization and Racing further proposes that bookmakers' licences be granted on condition that they reach a commercial agreement with racecourses and the racing industry.
Dirk Vennix, chief executive of The Association of British Bookmakers commented: "Our industry has not yet seen the full detail of racing's proposal, but we can say with certainty that a betting right for the sport is entirely unwarranted.
"Such a move would hand the horseracing industry a state-sponsored monopoly to add to its existing media-rights monopolies. This is undesirable in a free-market economy and will remove any incentive for the sport to meet the commercial needs of its largest customer."