I am grateful to my hon. Friend, who will realise that 10 years of peace are about to be broken. The proliferation of tote facilities at race courses is now seriously jeopardising on-course bookmakers. Ahead of privatisation, in the not-too-distant future, that proliferation could well result in a problem landing on my hon. Friend's doorstep. I ask him, therefore, to look seriously at the present acceleration in the siting of tote facilities at race courses which is driving away small bookmakers.
I have enjoyed more or less a decade of detente with my hon. Friend the Member for Langbaurgh (Mr. Holt) and I hope that hostilities are not about to break out over this of all issues, which we have discussed on several occasions in a variety of settings over the years.
We look to the levy board for advice on this issue, but we have had no such advice from it. However, I believe that the representative bookmakers association has written to the chairman of the levy board, Sir Ian Trethowan, about this and we await his views with interest.