Belfast Telegraph

Saturday 19 April 2014

Bookies told to back racing

Horseracing in Britain will “fall into ruin” unless the Government soon improves the relationship between the industry and bookmakers, a Tory MP warned yesterday.

Matthew Hancock raised concerns that the horseracing levy paid by betting firms to help maintain the sport has declined in recent years.

He urged ministers to overhaul the industry's funding system as gambling companies increasingly move offshore.

“The levy is broken and needs radical reform,” he said.

The horseracing levy is based on a percentage of the gross profits made by bookmakers on the sport.

Mr Hancock said that in the past two years, the levy had fallen from more than £100 million to £65 million, and prize money had fallen from £65 million to £34 million.

Meanwhile, Godolphin hit the mark last night when Frankie Dettori partnered Spring Of Fame to a decisive victory in the Tapeta Handicap at Meydan.

An 8-1 chance, the five-year-old became trainer Saeed bin Suroor's 98th winner at the Dubai Carnival as he came home ahead of Haatheq. Star Empire stayed on for third place.

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