News story

Details of £90 million pay out to racing after Tote sale unveiled by Minister with responsibility for horseracing John Penrose

Racing’s share of £180 million net proceeds from sale of the Horserace Totalisator Board (the Tote) to be distributed through new charity and grant scheme.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Racing’s half share of the £180 million net proceeds from the sale of the Horserace Totalisator Board (the Tote) is to be delivered through 2 different channels, a new charity and a grant scheme, Minister with responsibility for Horseracing John Penrose announced today.

Following discussions with the racing industry, it has been agreed that the £90 million will be distributed through:

  • a new charity, The Racing Foundation, which has been set up by the racing industry to help fund charitable causes in racing
  • a grant scheme, to be administered by the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), for applicants from the racing industry for State Aid compliant racing related projects

John Penrose said:

“The sale of the Tote last year, after decades of trying, finally, and not before time, saw the government move out of the bookmaking business. We promised that racing would get half of the proceeds and now we are making good that pledge. Racing is a mature, successful and much-loved business, today’s announcement, along with our on-going plans to reform the levy arrangements between betting and racing, will be a further step in allowing it to prosper without unnecessary government interference.”

Paul Bittar, Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority, said:

“We are determined to use the opportunity provided by the proceeds from the sale of the Tote to create a meaningful legacy for the entire sport.

“The process will operate under significant constraints, principally around State Aid, and the anticipated £90 million will be received over a number of years, so we are very much taking a long-term view.

“Racing sensibly wants to build an endowment to provide the sport with a sustainable income stream for good causes and projects across the industry.”

The details of how the charity and grant scheme shall operate are currently being finalised and further information shall be available in the coming weeks.

The government will pay £10 million a year to the racing industry for the next 3 years with future payments to be agreed in the next spending review. The annual payment will be split between the grant scheme and The Racing Foundation. The split will be decided annually by The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) Chairman’s Committee in agreement with DCMS.

Notes to Editors

  1. The Tote was sold by the government in June 2011 for £265m. The proceeds of the sale amount to approximately £180 million of which Ministers promised to share approximately £90m with the Racing industry.
  2. The Racing Foundation received £10 million on 14 March 2012 for year 2011-2012.
  3. The grant scheme will make state aid compliant grants to eligible applicants in the Racing industry. The scheme will be administered by the BHA who won the contract following a procurement exercise earlier in the year. Interested applicants should visit the BHA website for further information.

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Published 28 March 2012