Bookmakers agree levy before deadline

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Equine insurance customers might be interested to learn that bookmakers have managed to reach an agreement with the horse racing industry over the amount they will put into the sport as part of its levy.

There had been a midnight deadline placed on negotiations on Monday (October 31st) and if an agreement hadn't been reached culture secretary Jeremy Hunt was set to intervene.

Bookmakers have agreed to pay £72.4 million into the sport next year, which will provide 50 per cent of prize-money throughout the calendar. The racing schedule has also been reduced by 30 races to 1,450 in 2012.

Levy board chairman Paul Lee said of the agreement: "The offer of guaranteed contributions by the major operators provides more certainty for all parties and valuable assistance for the Levy Board's financial planning."

The British Horseracing Authority said it was deeply frustrated that terms of the levy could be imposed by the Bookmakers' Committee and Independent Members of the Levy Board.

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