Betfair is handing over £6million to the racing industry as a voluntary contribution to the levy after months of verbal jousting over whether they would pay. Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer Martin Cruddace at last night’s Royal Ascot Charity Ball announced the “voluntary donation”. He commented, “Betfair has a strong track record in supporting British racing and this substantial figure is further testament to the commitment we have in seeing the sport thrive.
“I would now encourage those other operators not licensed in the UK but who are taking bets on British racing to follow suit.”
After moving to Gibraltar, contribution to the levy is no longer an obligation for Betfair. The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) had doubted that they would pay given the company’s current slightly parlous state. Upon the news, Horserace Betting Levy Board (HBLB) commented, “I am delighted that Betfair has decided to make this significant voluntary contribution of £6m, effectively the amount it would have paid as if still operating under its UK licence.
“At a time when Levy receipts are falling, the contribution is very important and I am particularly pleased that it will go to prize money in 2012 when we are currently facing a considerable shortage.
“I hope that the example which Betfair has so clearly shown here will be followed by others for the mutual benefit of all involved with Racing in its widest context.”
The company added that it would continue to invest £3million over the next three years into grass roots racing.
The online betting exchange also today confirmed the appointment of yet another member of staff. Ian Chuter joins as the company’s Group Operations Director and brings with him almost 30 years of industry experience. Chuter said, “I am delighted to be joining Betfair at a really exciting time for the company. Betfair revolutionized the industry and there are numerous opportunities to maximise its leading position as a global operator.”
His new job will begin on 4th July and see him responsible for overseeing the company global customer operations team. Most of Ian’s career has so far been spent working for William Hill.