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Tuesday, March 6, 2001



PRE-BUDGET GAMBLING BOOST FOR CHANCELLOR




The long awaited 400 page, 1st Annual Report on the Global Gambling Market has finally been released after 6 months of solid non-stop research.


It concludes that the global gambling market is at least 30% higher than all previous estimates and tops out at £986 billion (British Pounds) per year!

The Chancellor in his budget statement on Wednesday, March 7, is likely to announce changes to the way bookmakers are taxed. Stephen Timms the Financial Secretary to the Treasury at the BBOA Industry Seminar in January stated that he was prepared to "Take a bet on UK bookmakers' to deliver the Global market to the UK". This new report underlines the strength of that market and pinpoints the areas where bookmakers will be able to sell their services.

Warwick Bartlett lead partner of Global Betting & Gaming Consultants said:

"It is the most definitive work of its kind and will make an ideal reference tool throughout the year. We have identified a world gambling market that is developing and expanding at the same time. More countries are legalising betting because of the revenue benefits and because legalised gambling reduces crime. The rest of the world look to the UK as a role model for integrity and regulation and use the UK model for adaptation for their own needs. This creates unique opportunities not only for bookmakers but suppliers to the industry. The UK has a unique opportunity to become market leader for the following reasons:

- Integrity
- Expertise
- Sound Financial Base
- Good Regulation
- UK infrastructure

"With the loss of horseracing bookmakers in the UK are now likely to concentrate on their Internet businesses where most of the betting is on sports, our report could not have been produced at a better time."



TOTE CHAIRMAN WELCOMES BHB DECISION




Statement made by Peter Jones - Chairman of the Tote

"The Tote welcomes the decision taken by BHB to allow racing to resume tomorrow within the guidelines set by the Ministry of Agriculture. The arguments involved are clearly complex but I believe that the right decision has been taken especially as individual racecourses are still able to make their own assessment of local attitudes and conditions."

"The Tote's racecourse staff have been severely affected throughout the winter by the high level of abandonments and there are some serious hardship cases amongst them. They, and others like them elsewhere in the racing industry, should be taken into account when difficult decisions are being taken."



HOPE FOR FRENCH CHELTENHAM RAIDERS




A small chance that French raiders may be able to line up at next week's Cheltenham Festival emerged today with news that restrictions on the movement of horses in France may be eased.


Louis Romanet of France Galop commented: "We are able to hold two meetings due to special regulations brought in.


"It is still a difficult situation and trainers may not know if they can travel over until Monday."



WALSH TO PARTNER BUSINESS?




Ruby Walsh could partner See More Business in next week's Tote Cheltenham Gold Cup as his father's Commanche Court will not be running because of the foot and mouth crisis.


Walsh is facing something of a dilemma as travelling to Cheltenham would mean that he would not comply with the request made by the Irish Ministry of Agricultue which urged people not to travel to the Cheltenham Festival.


See More Business' regular partner Mick Fitzgerald has been claimed by Nicky Henderson to partner Marlborough, currently second favourite.




JEFF PEARCE JAILED




Newmarket trainer Jeff Pearce has been jailed for four years after pleading guilty to causing death by dangerous driving while under the influence of alcohol.

The incident occured last May when stable Catherine Marr was killed in a car Pearce was driving at Six Mile Bottom near Newmarket.


In passing sentence at Cambridge Crown Court, Judge Jonathan Haworth told Pearce he had driven in a fashion which was "courting disaster" and that his behaviour was "unforgivably irresponsible."



PRIZE MONEY BOOST FOR MELBOURNE CUP




The Victoria Racing Club has announced a 20% rise in prize money for this year's Melbourne Cup.


Tooheys New will sponsor the two mile contest, which takes place this year on November 6, for the first time.


Prize money will increase by Aus $650,000 (£230,000) to Aus $4million (£1,400,000).


Irish trainer Dermot Weld successful in Australia's most famous race with Vintage Crop in 1993 hopes to be able to run either Quality Team or Media Puzzle this year.


James Fanshawe who saddled Travelmate to be fifth in 1999 and Arctic Owl to occupy the same position in 2000 also hopes to be represented at Flemington in 2001.




MURPHY COULD STILL BE FESTIVAL BOUND




West Witton-based trainer Ferdy Murphy culd still be represented at next week's Cheltenham Festival.


Murphy had originally decided to close down his yard because of the current foot and mouth crisis but revealed today that Hindiana could possibly still go for the Royal & SunAlliance Novices' Hurdle on the Wednesday.


"We are instructed by one owner, Mr Green, that he wants his horse (Hindiana) to run at Cheltenham. He is happy with the guidelines" said Murphy.


"There are no problems with the horses. They have been kept on the move and are as fit as fiddles.


Commenting on the joint BHB/Jockey Club decision for racing to resume tomorrow Murphy commented: "The Irish and French aren't coming and I still think racing should be stopped immediately because if we got an epidemic after Cheltenham it would put National Hunt racing back 20 years.


"I thought after the French banned the movement of horses yesterday then I was sure the powers that be would not allow racing to start here again.


"The decision to resume stinks to high heaven - it's a very bad call."


For old articles (from 1st March 2000) go to the Newslink Archive


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