The B.O.L.A. Column 14th November 1997.

Tom Kelly, director general of B.O.L.A.

“Certainly, had it been B.O.L.A.’s intention 14 years ago to take the process[S.P] away from the racecourse, it would have happened long before now”. “Off-course bookmakers do not want to end their reliance on the “Race-Course Ring” for starting prices”. “Technically, it would not be difficult, but there is no desire to change the system”.

The B.O.L.A. 2000 A.G.M. 22nd February 2000.

Tom Kelly, director general of B.O.L.A.

“That remains the case today, and it is also the case that B.O.L.A. has no wish to jettison the existing time-tested method of obtaining S.P.’s”. “On the contrary, we want to work with the returning agencies {the Press Association and the Racing Post} to make the system more efficient”. He also said the display of prices by Rails Bookmakers “should be introduced without delay, thus enabling S.P. returners to have a full view of odds being offered by all bookmakers”.

Opinion: David Ashforth (Racing Post)

“B.O.L.A. wants to make the S.P. system more efficient. I think efficient may mean bigger margins. I think it may mean more efficient for the Big Three but less efficient for the hundreds of thousands of punters. Need to keep an eye on that one”.

Racing Post 25th February 2000.

The continuing fall in gross profits from horse-race betting could result in the closure of a number of small betting shops, according to the man ultimately responsible for Britain’s biggest bookmaking company.

Peter George, chief executive of the Hilton Group whose portfolio includes Ladbrokes warned that the factor responsible - the reduction in theoretical margins in the Starting Price returns - is not a short-term trend.

He said “It’s been going on too long, and we have to accept that it will continue as long as nothing is done to bring about a change”.

“Unless that happens a number of betting shops will go, and the remaining bookmakers will look to things other than horse-racing”.

George added: Naturally we don’t expect any sympathy from our customers, who are after all feeling the benefit {of reduced S.P. margins }. But to have a strong healthy industry, which is going forward, there has to be stability”.

Please note that in all of these cases Sean is restricted from making Comment!!!

The B.O.L.A. 2000 A.G.M. 22nd February 2000.

Chris Bell, Chairman of B.O.L.A. and managing director of Britain’s largest bookmakers, Ladbrokes.

Bell pointed out that many Levy Board issues - including funding RaceTech, “to provide pictures to sell back to bookmakers”, and joint marketing initiatives -have a direct impact on the betting industry’s long-term financial interests.

“In many cases, our payments allow, and are funding, racing to set up in direct competition”, he said. “We have no desire to prevent competition, but we are not going to pay for our own funeral”.

The B.B.O.A. Column 2nd May 1997.

Will Roseff, director of the British Betting Offices’ Association.

“As with any monopoly, we were overcharged. To the extent that independents, with roughly 50% of the shops and 40% of betting turnover, contribute 70% of S.I.S. revenue”.

Please Note Sean is restricted in making any comment!!!