Horserace Betting Levy Board - Chair

Body: Horserace Betting Levy Board
Appointing Department: Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
Sectors: Business, Finance & Skills, Culture, Media & Sport, Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, Regulation
Location: Board meetings will take place in central London locations. Attendance at race meetings and associated events will take place in various locations.
Skills required: Accountancy, Business / Commercial, Communication / Media / Marketing, Major Projects, Regulation, Transformation
Number of Vacancies: 1
Remuneration: £39, 600 per annum. Reasonable and fully documented expenses will be reimbursed.
Time Requirements: Up to 6 days per month, averaging around 72 days a year. This does not include attendance at race meetings and associated events.


An announcement has been made on the outcome of this appointment.

Secretary of State appoints Paul Darling OBE QC as Chair of the Horserace Betting Levy Board.

Paul Darling been appointed by the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as the Chair of the Horserace Betting Levy Board for four years from 1 April 2020.

Paul Darling is a member of the Queen’s Counsel specialising in commercial and construction law at 39 Essex Chambers, London. He has undertaken a number of public appointments, having been on the board of the Tote before privatisation between 2006 and 2008, and then a government appointed member of the Horserace Betting Levy Board between 2008 and 2014. He was also Chairman of the Sports Grounds Safety Authority between 2009 and 2015. More recently he has been Chairman of the Association of British Bookmakers, the former trade association for licensed betting offices.

The role of Chair is remunerated at £39,600. This appointment has been made in accordance with the Cabinet Office’s Governance Code on Public Appointments, the process is regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. The Government’s Governance Code requires that any significant political activity undertaken by an appointee in the last five years is declared. This is defined as holding office, public speaking, making a recordable donation or candidature for election. Paul Darling has not declared any activity.

Campaign Timeline

  • Competition Launched


  • Closed for Applications

    25/09/2019 at 10:00

  • Panel Sift


  • Final Interview Date


  • Announcement



Assessment Panel

Vacancy Description

We are seeking to appoint a new Chair to the Horserace Betting Levy Board. We are looking to appoint a candidate with strong leadership and relationship management qualities, excellent communication skills and experience in being responsible for the strategic distribution of funding and spending decisions.


This is an exciting opportunity to work with both the public and private sector in supporting one of Britain’s greatest sports. The Chair will be responsible for providing leadership to the Board, overseeing a rigorous collection procedure and  decision making for Levy distribution. The Chair will work closely with the racing industry and the Government to ensure the Levy is spent effectively, and in accordance with the statutory objectives, so that it  continues to meet racing’s needs and delivers against the Levy Board’s strategic objectives.


The successful candidate will be required to be in place by 1st April 2020.


British horseracing plays an important part in supporting the British economy, contributing £3.5 billion and employing over 17,000 people. Racing is the second highest attended sport in Britain after football and its prestigious festivals are amongst Britain’s sporting crown jewels, including The Cheltenham Festival; The Grand National; and Royal Ascot which is attended every year by The Queen and other members of the Royal Family.


The Horserace Betting Levy Board plays an integral role in ensuring the continued success of the sport by collecting the Levy from betting operators and administering the statutory Levy annually. The Levy provides funding for the improvement of horseracing and veterinary science and equine welfare.


The Chair will be required to:

  • provide leadership to the Board to maximise the impact of the 2017 reforms and oversee the collection of the Levy and strategic distribution  decisions;
  • uphold the highest standards of governance and ensure that the Levy Board discharges its statutory duties;
  • agree the strategic direction of the Levy Board, taking into account the views of racing, bookmakers, veterinary groups, breeding associations and other interested parties to deliver against the Levy Board’s strategic objectives;
  • review the performance of Board members and executives and ensure skills and experience are appropriately deployed; and
  • drive effective relationships with senior stakeholders, including the Government, betting, racing and veterinary industries.


The Chair will be required to represent the views of the Board and will ensure that the Board’s decisions are made in accordance with Government issued guidance, transparency and State Aid rules. The Chair will also support the Accounting Officer in promoting the efficient and effective use of staff and other resources and the delivery of high standards of regularity and propriety.


Person Specification

Successful candidates will meet the following essential criteria:

  • have proven chair skills that encourage participation and information sharing with the ability to challenge constructively;
  • have a strong understanding of corporate governance and a commitment to the principles of public sector propriety, regularity and accountability;
  • a strong understanding of budgetary forecasting and management, funding strategy and funding decision-making and be able to provide vision and strategic thinking to the Board;
  • experience in working with stakeholders and be able to achieve consensus and retain stakeholder confidence;


A detailed knowledge of the racing and betting industries is desirable rather than essential, but a willingness to develop such knowledge would be expected, including attendance at some race meetings.


The Secretary of State will, however, need to be satisfied that the successful candidate has no interests connected with horse racing which might hinder them from discharging their functions as a member of the Board in an impartial manner, as set out in the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963 (


Additional Information

Term of Appointment

The appointment will be for four years.


Who is on the Board?

The Levy Board comprises 7 members, including three 3 appointed by the Secretary of State (i.e. Chair and 2 board members), 3 members appointed by ‘The Jockey Club,’ and 1 member jointly appointed by the ‘Association of British Bookmakers’ and the ‘Remote Gambling Association’


Supporting Information

DCMS promotes an equal opportunities policy. Appointments are made on merit, following a fair and transparent process, and these appointments are regulated by the Commissioner for Public Appointments. More detail, including the regulations that appointing bodies are required to follow, is available at the OCPA website:


All applicants are expected to be familiar and compliant with the Seven Principles of Public Life.


HBLB recognises the positive value of diversity, promotes equality and challenges discrimination. We welcome and encourage job applications from people of all backgrounds, particularly those from underrepresented groups including women, disabled people or BAME.


Further information about the HBLB can be found on our website at and on the DCMS website at Details of appointments to other public bodies are available at:


How to Apply

To apply, please send:

  • a CV of no more than two sides of A4;
  • a supporting statement of no more than two sides of A4, setting out how you meet the criteria (NB: make sure you refer to the contents of this document);
  • the Monitoring Form concerning your personal information and political activity, and the Declaration of Interests Form.


Completed applications should be emailed to: Please put ‘HBLB – Chair’ in the subject title.


Alternatively, if this is not possible, please post a hard copy to James Emberley, Public Appointments Team, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, 100 Parliament Street, London SW1A 2BQ.


Please note DCMS does not fund travel and subsistence for candidates attending interviews.


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