I am delighted to be able to tell you that, with permission of the Speaker, I have secured a debate in Parliament on the Future of Horseracing next Wednesday, 25th October, from 14:30 to 16:00. As the Newmarket MP, I believe it is incredibly important that members of parliament debate the challenges and opportunities facing the British horseracing industry.
Horse racing is a major part of our British culture and heritage, and it holds significant importance for our local and national economy. In fact, horseracing contributes over £4 billion every year to the UK economy, and it is the second-largest sport in the UK, trailing only behind football in terms of attendances, employment, and annual revenues generated.
The debate provides the chance for MPs to discuss ways we can ensure the industry's international competitiveness and long-term success. The Minister responsible for horseracing - Stuart Andrew - will answer the debate. I will be using it to push for action in support of racing’s finances. A key topic will be the betting levy, a critical component that directly impacts the industry's sustainability. It is crucial that we resolve the issues surrounding the betting levy to enable British Horseracing to continue to thrive and significantly contribute to the economy.
Another issue that needs resolving is Affordability Checks. While it is essential to protect individuals from problem gambling, we must also find the right approach so that the Gambling Commission does not disproportionately impact the horseracing industry and those who are not problem gamblers.
I will argue that there is the inclusion of key roles within the horseracing industry on the Migration Advisory Committee's (MAC) Shortage Occupation List (SOL) so that British horseracing hubs, such as that in Newmarket, can easily hire top international talent to keep British horseracing as a global leader within the industry.
I look forward to discussing these issues and more at the upcoming debate, next week. It is crucial Government recognises the importance horseracing has to our culture and economy. More importantly, there is the need for Parliamentarians to address current issues impacting the industry and how we can best support it so that it continues to be a success for generations to come.
Let me know if there are other issues you think I need to raise and I will address as many as I can.
You can visit Parliament to watch, or livestream the debate or on catch up via Parliament TV at this web address: https://parliamentlive.tv/commons/
With all best wishes,