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Sportingbet makes voluntary Levy payment

Unlike some of their rival bookmakers who have headed offshore to avoid paying tax and levy, Sportingbet have chosen to make a voluntary Levy Board payment for the upkeep of British racing, beginning next year.

From the Racing Post:

Chief executive Andrew McIver, whose company is sponsoring a £50,000 four-year-old hurdle at Cheltenham on Saturday, said yesterday: "We're delighted to demonstrate our support of the British racing industry by committing to a voluntary payment of the levy, which equates to the statutory payments [ten per cent of gross profits] we would make if we were based in the UK.

The figure is expected to be around the £250k mark.

Obviously there is something in it for them, wanting to add credibility to their sponsorship of various races and the Racehorse Owners' Association awards night they have agreed to sponsor for three years. Other firms paying a voluntary levy fee include Betfair (assume because they weren't covered in the original legislation) and Blue Square.

Meanwhile Cheltenham have accepted sponsorship from controversial Maltese racing bookmaker Zeturf, who to my knowledge, don't pay any levy to anyone. British Racing really needs some firm leadership to bring a united front towards a secure financial future...

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