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Betfair announced its continual support of British racing with a voluntary donation of £6 Million to the sport, this week. The donation is in lieu of the 50th Levy Scheme payment it would have been required to make had the company remained under a UK licence. Betfair is said to be the first major operator not under a UK licence to commit a sum equal to the Levy requirements.
The donation will be handed to the Horserace Betting Levy Board within the next week.
Betfair has also committed to investing a further £3 Million over the next three years into the grassroots of racing.
Martin Cruddace, Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer, Betfair said: “Betfair has a strong track record in supporting British racing and this substantial figure is further testament to the commitment we have in seeing the sport thrive. I would now encourage those other operators not licensed in the UK but who are taking bets on British racing to follow suit."
Paul Lee, Chairman, Horserace Betting Levy Board, said; “At a time when Levy receipts are falling, the contribution is very important and I am particularly pleased that it will go to prize money in 2012 when we are currently facing a considerable shortage."
Rt. Hon. John Penrose MP, Minister for Tourism & Heritage, UK Department for Culture, Media and Sport, added; “We warmly welcome Betfair’s announcement and strongly encourage other betting operators to follow suit. This is a positive step for both racing and the betting industry at a time when all sides are committed to finding a long term solution to the levy.”
In related news, Betfair has launched a new smartphone racing app ready for the Royal Ascot.
The smartphone web-application "Betfair Racing on your mobile" is powered by Timeform and provides racing enthusiasts with an all-in-one product, containing detailed race cards, Timeform star ratings, Timeform tips and comments as well as a comprehensive results service.
The content works in tandem with the full betting functionality of the app, allowing users to both back and lay on Betfair's Exchange, as well as bet In-Play, on win and place markets.
Betfair's Director of Racing, Steven Johnson, said: “The development of 'Betfair Racing on your mobile' highlights two things; Betfair's continuing innovation in the mobile gaming space, and our continuing commitment to providing racing fans with the most comprehensive, exciting and cutting-edge products."
Betfair continues on its recruitment drive after the recent loss of various middle and senior managers with the announcement of the appointment of Ian Chuter in the newly created position of Group Operations Director.
Chuter joins Betfair's Executive Committee on 4 July 2011 from a nine year career at William Hill where, until recently, he was Group Head of International and UK Operations. He will be overseeing Betfair's global customer operations team, which includes telephone betting, market operations, fraud, payments and trading.
Source: InfoPowa News