by Renee Israel
After intense negotiations between the two bodies, it was announced
today that the giant betting exchange, Betfair and British Racing
have signed an important five-year deal that will inject up to
£40 million into the country's horse racing industry.
While Betfair has, until now, being paying a voluntary Horserace
Betting Levy each year to British Horseracing, the new agreement
will see Betfair start to pay 10.75% of all its revenues generated
from UK horse race betting fans.
British Racing, on its part, will ensure a minimum number of UK
horseracing fixtures per year.
The new deal, therefore, aligns British Racing's interests with
those of Betfair, in a bid to increase revenues for both parties.
Since Betfair has already made levy payments of £6.5
million for 2012-2013 to British Racing, these will be offset by
new payments which are due under the deal announced today.
Betfair Deals Opens Door to Similar Agreements
The British government has indicated that the new Betfair
British Horseracing deal could be the beginning of standard
practice in the industry.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport in the UK said that
all betting operators who carry a license from local gambling
authorities and which take bets from British punters may need to
reach similar agreements with British Horseracing.
British Horseracing comprises of the British Horseracing
Authority (BHA), the Horsemen's Group and the Racecourse
Bittar Delighted with Betfair Horseracing Deal
The Chief Executive Officer of the British Horseracing Authority,
Paul Bittar expressed his delight in reaching the agreement with
Betfair, calling it "one which represents a landmark for both the
racing and betting industries."
"It brings many benefits, including substantial and increased
guaranteed funding as well as importantly providing certainty for
the sport in relation to Betfair's contribution," he said. "We
hope that similar arrangements with other betting operators will
Bittar said that this agreement required a high degree of
cooperation within British Racing, with all the major
organisations intensely involved in negotiations, as well as with
Betfair, which showed "great commitment in our intent to be a
constructive commercial partner with our sport."
"We firmly believe both in the value of British Racing as a
product and the need to work closely with the betting industry for
our mutual benefit," said Bittar. "Government has committed to
bringing forward proposals to address the long standing and
damaging flaws in our current funding mechanism."