BGC Confirms Safeguards For UK Racing’s Future

Financial Commitment to Horseracing

The Betting and Gaming Council (BGC) has recently confirmed an escalated financial devotion towards the future of British horseracing—a sum that has seen progressive growth over the last three years. Their latest deposit into the Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) is forecasted to be around £105 million, which is an uplift from the prior numbers of £97 million and £100 million in the preceding two years, respectively. This escalated backing aims to uphold the sport’s prosperity.

Influence on Prize Money and Rural Contributions

This substantial investment is expected to influence the division of prize funds, with projections indicating an increase to £70.5 million. The BGC has expressed its members’ dedication to the success of horseracing, underlining its vital economic influence, especially within rural communities.

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Addressing Industry Challenges

Whilst British horseracing enjoys considerable attendance as the nation’s second-favoured spectator sport, it faces several challenges, including a reduction in betting volumes and attendee numbers. The BGC outlined a downturn in racecourse attendances as well as a decrease in the percentage of the population who partake in horserace betting.

Comprehensive Support Beyond the Levy

The Council highlighted significant financial inputs into the racing industry that surpass the levy, cumulatively amounting to £350 million contributed through media rights and sponsorships, reinforcing the intertwined relationship between the betting and horseracing sectors.

Regulatory Monitoring and Potential Impacts

The BHA remains vigilant over regulatory changes, including the UK Gambling Commission’s customer affordability checks, due to potential impacts they could have on the industry’s economic health. The BGC, hand in hand with the Gambling Commission, is also crafting a new Anti-Money Laundering Code to smoothen financial transactions.

Structuring the Levy’s Future

In response to a call from the DCMS Gambling Minister, the BGC will engage in dialogue with horseracing stakeholders to devise a revised funding architecture for the levy, aiming to address current challenges and aid in the sport’s recuperation from decline.

Conclusion by BGC

The BGC stresses the necessity for genuine reforms to be enacted for horseracing to experience a reversal in its downturn, indicating an imperative for transformation to ensure its enduring sustainability.

Responsible Rehoming of Retired Racehorses in the UK

Retired racehorses in the UK can be rehomed responsibly through organisations that specialise in their care and retraining. These include:

  • The Retraining of Racehorses charity, which offers guidance and support.
  • Approved rehoming centres that ensure suitable long-term homes.
  • Post-race training programmes tailored for alternative equestrian activities.

Criteria for Retraining of Racehorses (RoR) Competition Entry

To be eligible for RoR competitions, horses must meet the following:

  • Be registered with RoR.
  • Have raced or been in training in the UK.
  • Pass a veterinary inspection if required.

Welfare Best Practices for Sale of OTTBs in the UK

The well-being of off-the-track thoroughbreds (OTTBs) for sale in the UK is paramount. Best practices include:

  • Conducting pre-sale veterinary checks to ensure health and soundness.
  • Providing transparent health and training history to prospective buyers.
  • Post-sale follow-ups to confirm the welfare of the horse in its new environment.

The British Horseracing Authority’s Safeguarding Initiatives

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) maintains the sport’s integrity through:

  • Strict licensing procedures for all racing participants.
  • Comprehensive anti-doping regulations.
  • Regular welfare assessments conducted at licensed premises.

Support for Racehorses Transitioning to Aftercare

Support structures for racehorses transitioning to post-racing careers are key. These are:

  • Retraining programmes managed by charities such as RoR.
  • Financial and logistical support for trainers and owners.
  • Career advice services for horses suitable for other equestrian disciplines.

Maintaining Safety and Welfare Standards in British Racing

Safety and welfare standards in British racing are upheld by several measures:

  • BHA’s enforcement of strict health and safety policies.
  • Welfare officers and veterinarians present at every race.
  • Continual review and enhancement of safety gear for riders and protection for horses.

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