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Offshore Bookmakers To Pay For Right To Bet On British Racing
George Osborne's announcement in Wednesday's Budget Speech that racing deserved Government backing to gain what he termed a "Racing Right," which is a commercial mechanism that enables the sport to claim money from its customers, was hailed as a "breakthrough" by the sport's leaders, reports telegraph.co.uk. The Chancellor of the Exchequer also announced that bookmakers based offshore would now be subject to legislation that demanded Levy payments from them for the right to bet on British racing. For many years, they have escaped paying the Levy because of their geographical position. "Today's announcement by the Chancellor represents a major milestone in our efforts to secure the future finances of our industry," said Paul Bittar, chief executive of the British Horseracing Authority. "For too long, we have sought a funding mechanism which reflects the nature of the modern Racing and Betting industries. Today's commitment brings us considerably closer to achieving this goal, and securing the future of one of the country's leading sports, and a major employer across the country." One surprise announcement by the Chancellor was the decision to raise the duty on gaming machines in betting shops, which will result in a fivefold increase from 5 per cent to 25 per cent. The London Stock Exchange reacted immediately to the news with shares for both Ladbrokes and William Hill falling dramatically, as these machines are seen by many as a core product for the betting industry.