There will be an increase in prize money contributed by the Horseracing Betting Levy Board (HBLB) in 2022. Fixture-related funding will increase to £90 million for UK racing's 2022 fixture list, with £70 million specifically allotted for prize money, £10 million more than was set aside for that purpose in both 2018 and 2019. These sums do not include the additional grants for prize money and towards regulation and integrity already announced following the HBLB taking a £21.5 million loan from the UK Government's Sport Winter Survival Package. The HBLB is likely to contribute up to £75 million in prize money in 2022 versus around £60 million in pre-Covid years. In addition, the HBLB Board recognises that the investment by the HBLB is likely to decrease in 2023. In 2021, including the additional grants arising from the Sport Winter Survival Package loan, HBLB expects to contribute around £81m to prize money.
A total of £55.8 million of the £67.2 million prize money allocation is via a newly developed ratecard mechanism, £6.9 million for the Appearance Money Scheme, £3.5 million for the Great British Bonus, a Divided Races Fund of £800,000 and an additional fund of £200,000 to support prize money at racecourses most affected by the new ratecard mechanism. For more information, please visit the HBLB website here.
Paul Darling, Chairman of HBLB, said, “The Board recognised the importance of maintaining its higher than usual allocations to prize money in 2022 to support the ongoing recovery of the sport from the effects of the Covid period. This adds to the substantial extra grants that we have made in 2020 and 2021. In addition, by the end of 2021 the Board's contribution to Covid-related regulatory costs is likely to have reached £3.7m.
“We are pleased to have modernised and developed our funding arrangements with regard to both prize money and the fixture incentive fund. Moving to a race-by-race basis for allocating all prize money gives the Board, and indeed all of racing and betting, more transparency as to where Levy funding is being allocated. The additional payments that incentivise racecourse executive contribution are intended to encourage a return of total prize money in 2022 towards pre-Covid levels.
“It must be recognised throughout the sport that although drawing again on our reserves makes it possible to continue with higher funding in 2022, the position in 2023 will be different. The Board is required to make the first repayment to Government of the Sport Winter Survival Package loan that was taken this year. That will be the first call on expenditure in 2023 and in the seven subsequent years.”