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UK Bookmakers: Horse Racing Stuck In 1960s

Published: November 26, 2010 3:06 pm ET

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In the ongoing dispute over the British horse racing levy, leading bookmakers have shown their solidarity by penning a letter to the government appointed Horserace Betting Levy Board claiming that the country's horse racing industry is stuck in a 1960s mentality.

An article by The Telegraph states that, in the letter, the chief executives of companies including William Hill, Ladbrokes and Betfair have said that the levy board should not believe the racing industry's arguments that it is reliant on increased levy payments from the bookmaking companies.

The article states that the gambling companies have offer £66M next year, based on 10 per cent of their gross profits, The industry is reportedly seeking between £130M - £150M.

A portion of the letter states, “At the heart of this issue is a fact that the British horseracing industry seems determined to ignore - revenue from the Levy is down principally because fewer people are betting on British horseracing. Its relevance to the betting customer continues to decline."

The letter goes on to state, “British horseracing, just like every business, must adjust to changing circumstances rather than expect a bail-out through an increase in a subsidy established in 1961 to compensate racecourses for the anticipated impact of off-course betting on attendances. The world has changed a great deal in the last 50 years. British horseracing, protected by this subsidy, has failed to adapt.”

(With files from The Telegraph)

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