Mathematician-Betting.co.uk

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I did originally intend to leave things as super short and sweet this week.
But I couldn't help sharing a little fear about a news story I read this week.

It is looking like racing will soon benefit from a levy of 10% of bookmaker profits
on both shop and online betting.

See http://www.racingpost.com/news/horse-racing/mp-suggests-betting-levy-rate-could-be-set-at-ten-per-cent/2175863/#newsArchiveTabs=last7DaysNews

This is on the whole reasonably positive news for racing.

History would have been that whilst racing benefited from a shop levy
online betting was excluded. It was a bit of a loophole.

British Horse Racing ( BHA ) for some time now in effect had to approach
bookmakers with a begging bowl seeking some form of voluntary contribution.
Some bookies did indeed contribute..many did not.

So it is looking like the BHA's old begging bowl will soon turn into more of a legal stick.

I am hoping that a future side effect of that is that the BHA will do more to
stand up for racing punter rights when it comes to issues such as betting restrictions.

BUT I do have a little bit of fear.

Both Ireland and Australia constructed their racing levy on a 1% of turnover grounds.

So if that 10% of racing profit idea does materialise who may the BHA be more prone to listen to?

The 9 million racing punters..or a few bookie CEO's who say
treating individual punters in discriminatory fashion is the way to boost cash flow?

So worry 1 may be that the BHA will receive years of punter grievance ahead because they are deemed to
pally with and too tied to bookmaker profits. A % of turnover model I feel would position the BHA better
to have better clarity of thought towards racing punters.

 

Worry 2 may be grounded in the fact that % of profit share is in effect similar to corporation tax.

We all know how multi national corporations treat corporation tax.
It is something for the accountants to make go away with a flick
of the accountant's pen.

CEO's of companies will say they "have a duty to shareholders to legally minimise it."

The big bookmakers are in effect billion pound international companies.
They will have teams of top notch accountants figuring out how to declare on paper
net racing profits of zero. Don't ask me how they will do it..but they are probably already working on it.
They will find ways and means.

A turnover based approach would be harder to back fit with an accountant's pen.

I believe if the BHA enters an accountancy arms race with billion £ multi national
corporations they will lose.

I did share my fears with the BHA this week.
Just as insurance in case similar thought train
had not yet entered their own heads.

I did envisage them perhaps preparing and being blindly fixated
on an argument for say 10% and not 9% when perhaps they
may be better taking a step back to the rev share versus turnover
fork in the road.

Two simple questions such as

- Which is best for racing punters
- Which is safer and less hasslesome for us

could perhaps make them re think.


But all that said I am not so arrogant to think I know it all.
Perhaps I am not a future oracle of doom and instead am
just a paranoid old cynic who should learn to trust a bit more
the genius of the BHA and the good will of bookmaker corporations.

There are probably some good reasons for a 10% of bookmaker
profit basis and not a turnover basis.

I'd be interested in feedback from you lot.

What would you feel more comfortable with in future.
A BHA funded by bookmaker profits on racing
or a BHA funded by bookmaker turnover on racing?

Best Wishes
Mick

 


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