Parliamentary All Party

Betting & Gaming Group

Parliamentary All Party Racing & Bloodstock Group
Parliamentary All Party Betting & Gaming Group
Joint Group Meeting on the Racing Right

Held on Tuesday 14th July, 5.15pm in Committee Room 7


In attendance:

Richard Benyon, Conservative
Tracy Crouch MP, Conservative, Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Culture, Media and Sport
Philip Davies MP, Conservative
Sir Edward Garnier MP, Conservative
George Kerevan MP, SNP
Sir Alan Meale MP, Labour
David Nuttall MP, Conservative
Guy Opperman MP, Conservative
Ian Paisley MP, DUP
Laurence Robertson MP, Conservative

Lord De Mauley, Conservative
Lord Donoughue, Labour
Baroness Golding, Labour
Baroness Mallalieu, Labour
Lord Strasburger, Liberal Democrat

Steve Donoughue, Secretariat

Speakers:         Nick Rust, CEO, British Horseracing Authority
                          Paul Darling QC, Chairman, Association of British Bookmakers

In the Chair, Laurence Robertson MP, Chair, Parliamentary All Party Racing & Bloodstock Group

The Chair initiated the meeting by explaining that it had been called as a listening exercise to understand the issues surrounding the Racing Right. The Minister with responsibility for gambling was in attendance in that capacity.

Nick Rust (NR), CEO of the British Horseracing Authority argued that the Levy was not producing enough funding to meet Racing’s needs due to the amount of offshore operators who were taking bets on British racing and not paying Levy. He didn’t want to see betting shops pay more Levy and as the Levy doesn’t cover offshore betting their only option was to seek a change in the law and have the Racing Right. He wanted the bookmakers to be at the table of the body which would adjudicate the Racing Right.

Paul Darling QC, Chairman of the Association of British Bookmakers, argued that bookmakers contribute significant amounts to racing via the Levy, racecourse sponsorship and media rights payments. These combined amounts needed to be considered when considering any future funding mechanisms. They did not recognise that Racing was short of funding

Both speakers appeared to be willing to discuss further and seek agreement whether with a Racing Right or a voluntary agreement.