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BHA to open up racing sponsorship

The British Horseracing Authority (BHA) will open up racing sponsorship to bookmakers that do not feature in its Authorised Betting Partner initiative, according to the UK’s Guardian newspaper.

In October, the BHA announced a new model under which bookmakers would contribute an agreed percentage of racing revenue from their exchange and sportsbook. The percentage is based on a rate card developed by British Racing stakeholders comprising the BHA, Racecourse Association and the Horsemen’s Group, operating under the new Members Agreement.

Earlier this month, Betfair, Bet365 and 32Red signed up as ABPs, and agreed to contribute a percentage of racing revenues as set out in the scheme.

However, the Guardian newspaper reports that the BHA is to reduce the scope of the initiative and open up sponsorship to companies “affiliated” to online betting firms, whether or not they encourage punters to use non-ABP bookmakers.

In the original press release announcing the new scheme, the BHA included a background Q&A that stated that “this announcement includes affiliate websites who will be deemed non-authorised betting partners if they direct customers to operators who do not pay levy on their digital businesses.”

Will Lambe, director of corporate affairs at the BHA, has said that the change to rules regarding sponsorship will enable the initiative to focus more on individual operators, rather than affiliates.

“We continue to work on the detail of the authorised betting partner model with, for example, a kite mark being launched imminently,” Lambe said, according to the newspaper. “We are encouraged by those companies that are already on board and also the expressions of interest from a range of other betting operators. The policy will evolve but our current focus is the discussions taking place with betting operators, rather than affiliate websites.”