UK’s Proposed Levy Rate For All Betting Gets EU Go-Ahead

Jake Cooper | 03 May 2017

British horse racing autority

In the latest UK-related race betting news, the European Commission has officially endorsed the move to reform the existing UK Horserace Betting Levy scheme.

The anticipated scheme has already been widely discussed as offering multiple benefits for the local racing industry. Once reformed, the scheme will be in line with the European Union’s state aid rules, allowing the levies to be unified with the EU’s current requirements.

The move was originally announced by the local British government earlier in 2017. The proposed regulations will levy a 10% charge on all profits that bookmakers make when taking bets on British horse racing events from UK-based punters.

New Move To ‘Level The Playing Field’ For Betting Operators

This new proposed system will replace the one that is currently in place, in which only bookmakers based in the UK itself have to pay the 10% levy on their gross profits – and only once their profits exceed £500,000 ($641,000). 

The European Commission was quick to accept the proposal, which will allow for better control over and regulation of the UK betting space in the long run. In a statement posted on its website, the EU publically approved the new levy system, noting that it will ‘level [the] playing field’ among UK-facing operators.

The statement also mentioned that the Commission has approved the new move for a number of reasons. One of the foremost ones is that the system will improve the landscape of both horse breeding and horse racing, without unduly distorting the unique dynamics of the sport’s competition.

System Will Only Apply If The UK Remains An EU Member State

Additionally, the EU said that the new levying measure will create a fair and level playing field among UK-facing betting providers, while simultaneously encouraging new operators to enter the British market.

The statement noted that the development of in-market competition between bookmakers will also be fostered, thanks to the easily attainable proposed threshold.

However, while the EU has approved the new system, it may not last forever. The Commission warned that its decision can only be applied until the UK officially ceases being a member of the European Union, in which case its laws may be independent of those that govern all current European member states.