Culture secretary John Whittingdale has announced a dramatic target to replace the current British betting Levy system by April next year.
The racing industry has long called for government intervention against the current system, from which offshore online betting is exempt, costing the sport tens of millions of pounds.
Chancellor George Osborne proposed a ‘Racing Right’ to replace the Levy in last March’s Budget.
In a seismic overhaul that would give the sport a significant cash boost, Whittingdale outlined government’s aim to pool income from betting on racing both in shops and online.
“Our aim is to introduce a new funding arrangement for British racing by April 2017,” Whittingdale said.
“We will create a level playing field for British-based and offshore gambling operators, and ensure a fair return from all bookmakers to racing, including those based offshore.
“Racing will be responsible for making decisions on spending the new fund and we’ll be making further announcements shortly.”
Under the scheme, the return to racing is projected at STG30 million ($A57.87 million).
British Horseracing Authority chief executive Nick Rust has been working hard to fill the void in the interim after having imposed an Authorised Betting Partner (ABP) policy, which requires bookmakers to pay racing an agreed chunk of the profits they make from racing bets online.
Betfair, bet365, 32Red and BetVictor have so far signed up to the new system, with the four bookmakers having agreed to make voluntary contributions from their remote activity.
Other established bookmakers like Ladbrokes, Betfred, Coral, William Hill and Paddy Power have yet to agree to ABP status.
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