MP suggests betting levy rate could be set at 10 per cent

The rate set by Tracey Crouch is likely to infuriate bookmakers

  PICTURE: RGT/Joel Ryder 

 By Bill Barber 8:00PM 16 OCT 2016 

SPORTS MINISTER Tracey Crouch has told racing and betting she intends to set a rate of ten per cent of gross profits for both retail and online bookmakers under the new levy replacement system – news which is likely to delight the sport and infuriate bookmakers.

While the rate for the new system, announced by the government in March and which is due to be put in place from April 1, is below the current 10.75 per cent paid by high street firms, it is likely to yield a sum in the £90 millions for the sport, close to the £100m racing had been hoping for.

The levy rate was raised to 10.75 per cent from ten per cent as part of the 2011-12 levy scheme. Setting a rate will enable the formal process of acquiring approval under European state aid rules to begin.

Racing has long pressed for an overhaul of the levy system, first established in 1961, with yields from the statutory levy falling from £99.3m in 2005-6 to £54.5m in 2015-16 as more customers bet online with operators who had moved overseas and out of the levy net.

Representatives of racing and betting are due to meet with Crouch at the Department for Culture, Media and Sport separately on Wednesday and have been given until November 4 to make their final representations in writing.

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