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UK – Horserace Betting Levy Board anticipates levy income of £99m

By - 19 May 2023

The Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) anticipates Levy income for the year ended March 31 2023 to be around £99m, following receipt of provisional submissions from the majority of Levy-paying bookmakers.

This would represent a figure comparable to the £97m in 2021/22 and reflects that gross profit significantly increased on projections in the last two months of the Levy year. HBLB had been anticipating that yield would most likely be in the £90m to £95m range, based on events in the early to middle part of the year, with a small possibility of a figure higher than this.

Over the year as a whole, the Board had noted reports of a continuing decline in turnover which was being partially mitigated by margins. Actual margins were then markedly above average in February and March 2023, months in which turnover fell notably on the same months in 2022.

HBLB Chairman Paul Darling KC commented: “The Board will be making decisions on prize money for the September to December period at its meeting next month and this likely outturn provides additional clarity in coming to those decisions.

“Although overall yield looks to be similar to or slightly up on last year, total turnover and race by race turnover are down overall, and were consistently down from July to the end of the Levy year. The Board will need to consider carefully what assumptions to make about future yield given this trend. Bookmakers’ collective initial estimates for 2023/24 are for a materially lower yield than in 2022/23.

“We are grateful to those bookmakers who have made timely of end-of-year declarations and to the largest bookmakers whose invaluable information has assisted us throughout the year.”

The indicative yield is based on returns received to date from bookmakers, which includes the submissions from the largest operators, and an assumption around the returns that are yet to be received.

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