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European Commission endorses UK betting levy reform

The European Commission has endorsed a reform of the existing UK Horserace Betting Levy scheme as being in line with European Union (EU) state aid rules.

Announced by the UK government earlier this year, the regulations will place a 10% levy on profit for all bookmakers that take bets in British horse racing from punters in the UK.

The new setup will replace the current system, where only companies based in the UK have to pay a 10% levy on the gross profits above the first £500,000 (€589,800/$641,000).

In a statement on its website, the Commission confirmed its approval for the new system, saying that it will create a “level playing field” amongst operators.

“The Commission has approved the measure because it recognises that it is essential for the improvement of horse breeding and horseracing without giving rise to undue distortions of competition,” the statement said.

“The measure also creates a level playing field among betting operators while at the same time supporting entry of new operators and the development of competition between betting operators, thanks to the de minimis threshold.”

The Commission added that its decision will only apply until the UK “ceases to become a member of the EU”.

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