Horserace Betting Levy Board
Statutory Functions: Levy CollectionImproving HorseracingAdvancing Veterinary Science and EducationSupporting Breeds
About the HBLB
The HBLB is a statutory body established by the Betting Levy Act 1961 and now operating in accordance with the provisions of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 (as amended).
Unlike some other non-departmental public bodies, the HBLB receives no central Government grant-in-aid and no National Lottery funding. Instead, it is required by the Act to collect a statutory levy from the horseracing business of bookmakers and the Tote successor company which it then distributes for the improvement of horseracing and breeds of horses and for the advancement of veterinary science and education.
For the financial year 2012/13 the Levy was distributed as follows:
|Point to Point||235|
|Channel 4 Racing||720|
|Great British Racing International||350|
|Improvement of breeds||781|
The Bookmakers’ Committee is responsible for making annual recommendations to the HBLB regarding the terms, rates and conditions which will apply to the next Levy Scheme. It has 13 members representing the major companies and trade associations in the betting industry.
53rd Levy Scheme
The terms of the 53rd Levy Scheme (1st April 2014 to 31st March 2015) were agreed on 24th October 2013, details of the Scheme can be found here.
The HBLB makes a significant contribution to the total prize money in each calendar year.
Industry Training and Education
The successful breeding, training and racing of thoroughbreds relies on numerous grooms, riders and jockeys with specialist skills and knowledge. Their recruitment and training is substantially funded through the Levy, as is Racing's schools education programme.
The HBLB provides grants to racecourses to help cover regulation and integrity costs including camera patrol and photo finish equipment and the fees charged by the British Horseracing Authority for its services such as raceday veterinary and security officials and drug testing.
Jump Breeders' Prizes 2014
HBLB's provision of annual funding for a Jump Breeders' Prizes Scheme provides an incentive for breeders to develop horses to compete in the Jump racing programme.
Loans for Capital Projects
The HBLB supports the improvement of racecourses by allocating a multi-million pound sum annually in loans for capital projects.
Betting Exchanges Consultation
The Court of Appeal has dismissed an appeal against a High Court decision in the Horserace Betting Levy Board’s favour in 2012 which found that customers of betting exchanges, acting in that capacity, do not constitute leviable bookmakers.
The initial 2010 HBLB Consultation Paper in relation to this issue, responses to the consultation and further submissions can be found by clicking here.
Veterinary Science and Education
Free! HBLB is funding a FREE CEM laboratory test for non-Thoroughbred stallions that have not been previously tested. Download the CEMO test voucher.
HBLB’s 2014 veterinary research and education funding rounds are currently closed. Applications will now be evaluated by the HBLB’s Veterinary Advisory Committee and finally recommended for funding to the HBLB's Board. Please note that the Board meets in December 2014 with a decisions announced later that month. The current programme is outlined as follows:
1. Small Project Grants for research projects under £10k and lasting less than 1 year, which must focus on issues of direct and immediate practical importance to the health and wellbeing of the Thoroughbred. Ten small projects have been approved to start in 2014, two of which are funded by the EBF and one by the TBA.
2. Equine Veterinary Research Projects supporting scientifically robust research projects which will benefit the health and well-being of horses, particularly the Thoroughbred; minimise the impact and improve the clinical management of disease and injury in all age groups; promote successful breeding; and prevent injury in racehorses. Seven new research projects have been approved to start in 2014, four of which are being part-funded by The Racing Foundation.
3. Veterinary Research Training Scholarships for veterinary graduates to pursue a PhD programme in any scientific or veterinary field relevant to the Thoroughbred. Three research scholarships have been approved to start in 2014.
4. Senior Equine Clinical Scholarships for veterinary graduates with at least 2 years’ experience to train for a higher qualification, in an equine field relevant to the Thoroughbred. One clinical scholarship in equine sports medicine, concentrating on respiratory disorders, has been approved to start in 2014.
More details on the Equine Veterinary Research Projects and Small Projects starting in 2014 can be found on Racehorse Health.