03/29/2012 : UK DCMS DETAILS TOTE SALE PAY OUT TO RACING (Update)
GBP 90 million to be delivered through charity and grant scheme
The UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has detailed how it plans to deliver UK Racing's half share of the sale of the Horserace Totaliser Board (Tote) bought by bookmaker Betfred for GBP 265 million in June 2011.
UK Racing's half share of the net proceeds, amounting to GBP 90 million, will be dispersed through two different channels, the first a new charity called "The Racing Foundation" which will assist in funding charitable causes in racing; and the second a grant scheme, administered by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), for applicants from the racing industry for State Aid compliant racing-related projects.
The administration contract of the grant scheme was won by the BHA following a procurement process earlier this year.
Minister John Penrose commented: "The sale of the Tote last year, after decades of trying, finally – and not before time – saw the Government move out of the bookmaking business. We promised that racing would get half of the proceeds and now we are making good that pledge.
“Racing is a mature, successful and much-loved business – today’s announcement, along with our on-going plans to reform the levy arrangements between betting and racing, will be a further step in allowing it to prosper without unnecessary Government interference.”
Paul Bittar, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority, added: "We are determined to use the opportunity provided by the proceeds from the sale of the Tote to create a meaningful legacy for the entire sport.
"The process will operate under significant constraints, principally around State Aid, and the anticipated GBP 90 million will be received over a number of years, so we are very much taking a long-term view.
"Racing sensibly wants to build an endowment to provide the sport with a sustainable income stream for good causes and projects across the industry."
Initial arrangements will see the Government pay GBP 10 million a year to the Racing industry, split between the new charity and the grant scheme, for the next three years.
Future payments will be reviewed and the split decided annually by the BHA Chairman's Committee in consultation with DCMS.
With the agreement in force, GBP 10 million was paid out to The Racing Foundation on March 14, 2012 for the year 2011/2012.