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January 2017

UK Introduces New Horse Racing Levy

by Renee Israel

UK Bookies Face New Tax

Bookmakers serving the UK betting public will be faced with a new levy on their profits, according to an announcement made by the government this week.

Bookmakers, whether they are based in the UK or outside its borders, will have to pay a 10% level on their profits made by betting Britons on British horse racing.

The new levy comes into effect in April this year and replaces the current law which dictates that only UK based countries need to pay the levy.

The BBC quotes sports minister Tracey Crouch as saying that the new tax would ensure that "gambling firms pay a fair return."

Legal Challenges to Gambling Levy

In the past, bookmakers have threatened legal action against the UK government if they unveil the new levy.

The Remote Gambling Association, which represents many offshore gambling operators, believes that the fact that the government still needs to obtain state aid clearance to pass the law, means that the levy may not come into effect in April after all.

The chief executive of the RGA, Clive Hawkswood, said that "it would be premature to talk about legal challenges until that process [of notifying the European Union] is complete and that could take months."

BHA Pleased with Decision

The body which represents British Racing, the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), said that the new levy was absolutely "critical to the future health of British racing."

"Once the new system is implemented in April 2017 we will see a significant uplift in the sport's central funding that will benefit our participants and the many local communities which racing supports across all corners of the country."

Hawkswood said that British racing is committed to working closely with its partners in the British betting industry to make a success of the new environment and "grow what is the most natural, exciting betting product to the future advantage of both our industries and the wider economy."

Story Highlights »
  • The new levy comes into effect in April this year.
  • bookmakers have threatened legal action against the UK government if they implement the new levy.

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