Horse racing: Funding changes welcomed by chief executive

Grand National 2017
The previous levy system has been in place since 1961

A major change affecting how horse racing is funded in the United Kingdom will "help grow the sport", according to the British Horseracing Authority.

A new levy system will see offshore betting companies contribute 10% of their profits to British racing if they make more than £500,000.

Offshore companies were exempt under the previous system, drawn up in 1961.

"It is the clearest sign of the success British racing can achieve when we work together," said BHA chief Nick Rust.

"The new levy will make a significant contribution to securing the long-term health and growth of our sport."

The legislation was backed in the House of Commons and House of Lords.

Analysis

BBC horse racing correspondent Cornelius Lysaght

This provides some much-needed financial stability for horseracing.

An increasingly precarious situation has arisen because, while the previous system was able to take into account 'traditional' ways of gambling on the horses [which are generally in sharp decline], ever-growing online betting, particularly when operated from offshore bases, were beyond its reach.

As of now, everyone that uses British racing as a betting medium must cough up. The British Horseracing Authority, which has been fighting for these reforms for years, believes it could make a difference of many millions for the sport.

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