The Minister responsible for horseracing, Helen Grant has today announced in a Written Ministerial Statement to Parliament that the Government will be transferring the full outstanding balance of horseracing’s 50% share (£49.9m) to the Racing Foundation following the completion of the sale of the Horserace Totaliser Board (the Tote) to Betfred. An additional £1.8m will be transferred during 2014/15 to the British Horseracing Authority’s (BHA) Grant Scheme after which the scheme will be wound up.
An agreement for the Government to sell the Tote to the gambling operator was reached in June 2011. At the time of that agreement, the Government committed to share the sale proceeds 50/50 between the horseracing industry and the tax payer. To date £30m of Tote proceeds have already been paid to Racing, with most of that money going to the Racing Foundation, an organisation established to invest the sale proceeds into the sport of horseracing and the thoroughbred breeding industry.
Helen Grant said:
This represents the last chapter of the Government’s involvement in the Tote and I would like to place on record my thanks to all those involved in the sale process. The decision to sell the Tote was always about getting a good deal for both the taxpayer and the sport. The industry is a much loved business and the repayments will ensure that horseracing continues to thrive for generations to come.
A British Horseracing Authority spokesperson said:
The British Racing industry has made clear since the sale of the Tote in summer 2011 that it wanted to use its share of the net proceeds from the sale to create a meaningful long-term legacy for the sport.
Today’s announcement that Racing shall receive all of its remaining share of the net proceeds from the sale by the end of the 2014-15 Financial Year provides the industry with the ability to maximise this legacy.
We would like to thank the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and particularly Helen Grant MP, for their efforts to ensure the release of these net proceeds as swiftly as possible, which will be of great benefit for our industry for many years to come.
British Horseracing Authority