British Purses to Increase in 2013

In England, total prize money paid in 2013 could approach the record payouts of 2009.

Thanks in part to increased media rights, England's Horserace Betting Levy Board expects total prize money paid to Thoroughbred owners and breeders in 2013 to approach or surpass the 2009 record of $177.3 million.

The board will pay an additional $16.1 million in 2013 compared with this season, and racecourse media rights are expected to increase by a similar sum.

The projections follow an Oct. 24 agreement in which the three largest bookmakers: William Hill, Ladbrokes, and Gala Coral, agreed to guarantee that their combined contribution will be at least $72.5 million. Betting exchange Betfair will contribute $11.3 million.

The Bookmakers' Committee estimates that the levy scheme, including Betfair's contribution, will yield $117.5 million.

The Board's 30% increase to $80.9 million is a result of its own enhanced income, a decision to prioritize additional expenditure on prize money, and the agreement of the terms of the levy scheme.

"Increasing prize money is an objective of the board in 2013 and we are delighted to announce this substantial rise," said Horserace Betting Levy Board chairman Paul Lee. "We believe that it will be warmly welcomed.

"On the basis that racecourses continue to make their own much increased contributions, there is a real prospect of 2013 providing record levels of prize money."

Contributions also will increase in 2013 in other key areas such as veterinary science and education.