Britain's four largest bookmakers, together with betting exchange operator Betfair, have reached an agreement that will see them contribute £75.7m to British horseracing.
The 53rd Levy Scheme, which covers the twelve-month period beginning April 1st 2014, will see William Hill, Ladbrokes, Coral and Betfred pay 10.75 per cent of gross profits from British horseracing to the industry, together with a combined additional voluntary contribution of £4.5m per year over four years into a newly-created Incentive Fund.
The fund will be managed by a new distribution group made up of representatives of the Levy Board, Racing and the four contributing bookmakers, and it will advise the Board on "how best to distribute the funds to deliver a more competitive British racing product and a growth in Levy".
Betfair will contribute £7.8m to the Levy, taking the Levy Board's total income from the betting industry to an estimated £80.2m in 2014.
Levy Board chairman Paul Lee said: “I am extremely pleased at the agreement of the 53rd Levy Scheme and of the multi-year arrangement between Racing and four major bookmakers. These will provide a platform for certainty of income, stability and continuity. All parties involved recognise the importance of the success of British Racing and the benefits of investing in it."
Lee added that the Levy Board will continue to play a constructive role in ensuring that funding is deployed so as to "maximise benefits to Racing and Betting", including through the optimum scheduling of fixtures.
In a joint statement, the big four bookmakers said: "We are delighted to have reached an arrangement with Racing, which will see the biggest four bookmakers in Britain inject an additional £18m into British Racing over the next four years. This addition to our normal statutory Levy payments will ensure that the four companies underwrite a minimum £52m per year to the Levy Board."
"British Racing is a core product in our betting offices and we want to see it grow and thrive," they added. "The £18m will be used to improve the competitiveness of the racing product, making it more appealing to both racegoers and betting office customers alike."