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GBGB responds to the government’s statement on the replacement of the horse race levy

This is an important statement that recognises the principle of bookmakers paying for product used on line. In this respect, we welcome the announcement. It is disappointing, however, that greyhound racing has not been included, but the Government’s intention is to achieve its objectives for horseracing through secondary legislation, whereas the inclusion of greyhound racing would require primary legislation, which would more likely to be challengeable in Europe.

 

GBGB is currently in dialogue with DCMS, DEFRA and the betting industry. Although there are similarities between horseracing and greyhound racing, we are pressing the point that horseracing is already a comparatively rich sport, whereas greyhound racing is fighting for survival in a climate in which the demands on the sport are constantly increasing in the face of rapidly and seriously falling income. These discussions continue and we remain hopeful of a positive outcome, particularly following the publication of the EFRA Select Committee report late last month. We know that greyhound racing’s plight has a lot sympathy in Westminster and elsewhere; the trick now is to convert that sympathy into cash. To achieve this, we need the overt support of the sports’ stakeholders.