Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill: Consideration Stage

Executive Committee Business – in the Northern Ireland Assembly at 2:45 pm on 16th November 2021.

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Photo of Roy Beggs Roy Beggs UUP 2:45 pm, 16th November 2021

I call the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs, Edwin Poots, to move the Consideration Stage.

Moved. — [Mr Poots (The Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs).]

Photo of Roy Beggs Roy Beggs UUP

Members will have a copy of the Marshalled List of amendments detailing the order for consideration. The amendments have been grouped for debate in the provisional grouping of amendments selected list. There is a single group of amendments containing two amendments that deal with provisions and definition.

I remind Members who intend to speak that, during the debate on the single group of amendments, they should address the amendments on which they wish to comment. Once the debate on the group is completed, any further amendments in the group will be moved formally as we go through the Bill and the Question on each will be put without further debate. The Questions on stand part will be taken at the appropriate points in the Bill. If that is clear, we shall proceed.

No amendments have been tabled to clauses 1 or 2. I propose, by leave of the Assembly, to group those clauses for the Question on stand part.

Clauses 1 and 2 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 3 (Minor and consequential amendments)

Photo of Roy Beggs Roy Beggs UUP

We now come to the single group of amendments for debate. With amendment No 1, it will be convenient to debate amendment No 2. I call the Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs to move amendment No 1 and to address the other amendment in the group.

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

I beg to move amendment No 1:

In page 2, line 24, at end insert -

<BR/>

&quot;(1A) In Article 2(2) (interpretation), omit the definition of &#x0027;modify&#x0027;.&quot;

The following amendment stood on the Marshalled List:

No 2: After clause 4 insert -



&quot;Transitional and supplementary provision


 


4A.—(1) Down Royal Park Racecourse Limited must submit a statement of its expenditure for the year beginning with 1 January 2021 to the Department.


 


(2) Where a horse racecourse operator has not submitted a statement under Article 3(4) of the 1990 Order for the year beginning with 1 January 2022, the operator must submit a statement for the year to the Department.


 


(3) A statement submitted under subsection (2) must include—


(a) the expenditure of the horse racecourse operator for the period beginning with 1 January 2022 and ending on the day the operator submits the statement, and


(b) the proposed budget and expenditure plans for the horse racecourse operator for the period beginning with the day after the day on which the statement is submitted and ending on 31 December 2022.


 


(4) The statements referred to in subsections (1) and (2) must be submitted before the end of the period of two weeks beginning with the day after the day on which this Act receives Royal Assent.


 


(5) In the 1990 Order –


(a) Article 3(5) has effect as if the reference to the statement submitted under paragraph (4) of the Article included a statement submitted under subsection (1) or (2),


(b) for the purposes of accounts prepared under Article 5 of the 1990 Order for the year ending on 31 December 2021, Article 5(2) has effect as if the reference to April were to June,


(c) Article 6(1)(a) has effect as if the reference to works under Article 3(5)(b) or (c) proposed in any statement submitted under Article 3(4) included works under Article 3(5)(b) or (c) to which expenditure in a statement submitted under subsection (1) or (2) relates,


(d) Article 10(1)(b) has effect as if the duty to prepare an annual statement of accounts for a period of 12 months ending on 31 December in each year included a duty for Down Royal Park Racecourse Limited to prepare such a statement for the year ending on 31 December 2021, and


(e) for the purposes of accounts prepared under Article 10(1) of the 1990 Order for the year ending on 31 December 2021, Article 10(3) has effect as if the reference to April were to June.


 


(6) In this section—


&#x0027;the Department&#x0027; means the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs;


&#x0027;horse racecourse operator&#x0027; has the meaning given by Article 2(2) of the 1990 Order.&quot; — [Mr Poots (The Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs).]

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

Before I speak on the amendments, I thank the Chairperson and members of the Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs Committee for their detailed and constructive scrutiny of the Bill and its aims thus far. I also thank the Office of Legislative Counsel (OLC), legal advisers and officials in my Department for their work in getting the Bill to this key stage.

I welcome the publication of the AERA Committee's report on the Bill, which, as well as confirming the Committee's support, includes recommendations on the need for a strategic review of the operation of the horse racing fund. The Committee recommends that my Department set out a timetable for such a strategic review, which would consider who is eligible for support under the fund, whether the amount of the levy is appropriate and where responsibility for the fund best sits. The need for the strategic review of the operation of the fund was raised at Second Reading. At that point, I acknowledged that a fundamental review was necessary, but, owing to the complexity of the issues involved, it needed to be completed over a longer time frame. I am therefore happy to accept the Committee's recommendation and can confirm that the initial scoping work is under way.

The Committee also recommended that the Department for Communities set out any long-term plans to review legislation on gambling activities, including those that relate to online gambling. As Members will be aware, DFC's gambling licensing rules do not currently regulate online gambling. Bookmakers who are licensed by DFC pay into the horse racing fund, and I understand that DFC is considering the licensing of remote bookmakers, albeit any review will not take place until the next mandate. It would therefore not be appropriate to make major changes to the legislation governing the fund until DFC has completed its review of licensing.

My officials have shared the Committee's recommendation with their counterparts in DFC, and I have asked that my officials work with DFC on the issues of common interest in reviewing the fund. I note that the Communities Minister has asked the same of her officials in undertaking a wider review of gambling legislation.

I will discuss the amendments in detail in a moment, but, first, I will remind the Assembly why this short Bill is before us. The Horse Racing (Northern Ireland) Order 1990 is the legal basis for the horse racing fund in Northern Ireland. The fund is made up of a levy collected from licensed bookmakers in Northern Ireland and was set up to provide financial support for horse racing at the two Northern Ireland racecourses at Downpatrick and Down Royal. However, since 2019, the new operator of Down Royal has been unable to access the fund, as it is not specifically named in the 1990 Order. Furthermore, as a consequence of my Department's assessment of subsidy control rules, payments to Downpatrick have also been suspended. That is because providing support to one racecourse when it is not possible to support the other would potentially create unfair competition in the market. Therefore, in amending the 1990 Order to name the new operators at Down Royal as beneficiaries of the fund, the Bill will allow for full reinstatement of payments from the fund to both racecourses. That is the main aim of the Bill. By keeping that narrow focus, I seek to ensure that the Bill is enacted in the current mandate, which will allow for the reinstatement of payments to the two racecourses as early as possible.

I turn now to the amendments that I have tabled. Amendment No 1 is a minor technical amendment to clause 3. It is simply a tidy-up of the Bill and its impact on existing legislation. The amendment removes the definition of the word "modify", which is used only in article 11 of the 1990 Order. The article is omitted by clause 3 of the Bill, so the definition is redundant.

Amendment No 2 is more substantial. It introduces a new clause to the Bill, clause 4A, which is titled "Transitional and supplementary provision". However, it remains in keeping with the Bill's overall aims to reinstate payments from the fund as quickly as possible. There are two parts to the new clause. First, it allows for payments to be made from the horse racing fund for eligible expenditure incurred by racecourses in 2021. It does that by enabling Down Royal to submit a statement of expenditure for 2021 after the Bill receives Royal Assent. Members will recall that Down Royal has not been eligible to do so before the Bill's enactment, as the current operators are not named in the legislation. While Downpatrick has already submitted the necessary paperwork relating to 2021, it has not been eligible for support either, owing to the subsidy control rules. As a result of new clause 4A, once Down Royal has submitted its statement relating to 2021, both racecourses will be able to claim for 2021 expenditure. I am aware that the AERA Committee raised the issue of the payments for spend incurred by the racecourses in the period before the Bill is enacted, so I know that that will be welcomed by its members.

The second part of the new clause introduced by the amendment relates to payments from the fund in 2022. As the deadline for submitting the necessary paperwork passed on 31 October 2021, the current operators of Down Royal will not be eligible for funding in 2022 without the amendment introduced by clause 4A. The new clause provides for racecourse operators to submit the necessary paperwork relating to 2022 two weeks after Royal Assent.

Clause 4A also includes a small number of technical provisions to ensure the smooth operation of the supplementary and transitional provisions. They include an amendment to the deadline for racecourse operators and a provision for my Department to prepare audited accounts relating to the year ending December 2021. That is in recognition that extra time may be needed, depending on when the Bill receives Royal Assent. Amendment No 2 ensures the early reinstatement of payments from the horse racing fund to both racecourses, as was my aim when I first brought the Bill to the Assembly. Therefore, I call on Members to support the amendments.

Photo of Declan McAleer Declan McAleer Sinn Féin

I welcome the opportunity to outline the Committee's views on the Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill following its scrutiny at Committee Stage. The Committee's report, which was made available to Members prior to the debate, sets out its full work and considerations. In summary, the Committee welcomes the Bill and recognises the need for the legislation in order to support the sustainability of racing events at courses in County Down that not only provide a popular social outlet but generate significant income for the local economy.

As the Minister outlined, the Bill's main objective is to facilitate the resumption of payments from the horse racing fund to Down Royal and Downpatrick racecourses. Since 1990, both courses have been able to apply yearly to the fund, which is overseen by the Department, to support their activities, to subsidise prize money and to subsidise spending to ensure spectator safety and the proper conduct of races.

The Horse Racing Order 1990 provides for the management of the fund and names specific beneficiaries at Down Royal and Downpatrick racecourses. The fund is resourced through annual charges to local bookmakers, and its income is approximately £350,000 a year. Following a change of ownership in 2019, the incumbent operators at Down Royal have been unable to apply for fund payments due to the wording of the 1990 Order. There has also been a knock-on impact on Downpatrick: its fund applications were not considered by the Department because of concerns about breaching state aid regulations through continued allocations to one course over the other.

The Bill aims to overcome those issues by making changes to the 1990 Order. It inserts a generic definition of a "horse racecourse operator" at each site. That will enable the resumption of fund payments to both racecourses. It also makes several other technical amendments to future-proof the provision of fund allocations, should a similar scenario arise in the years ahead.

The Bill was referred to the Committee on 26 April 2021. Following that, we commissioned a briefing from the Assembly's Research and Information Service and undertook a call for evidence between June and August 2021. The Committee received eight responses to its call for evidence, and the majority of respondents supported the Bill's objectives and its primary aim of facilitating the resumption of fund payments.

We heard how important the activities at Down Royal and Downpatrick are to the local equine sector and the wider economy. It is estimated that £4·5 million is generated annually in off-course spending by spectators, reaching retail, hospitality and restaurant venues. Stakeholders were concerned that a prolonged delay in receiving fund payments had the potential to jeopardise the racecourses' activities, meaning that they might have to hold fewer events in the year. That would have a negative knock-on effect on the economy and employment. In general, the respondents supported the Bill's aims, and there was consensus to modernise the provisions of the 1990 Order so that courses are not prevented from applying in future.

Through our call for evidence, we heard that a review of the scope of the fund might be useful, as well as an assessment of the levies that bookmakers are charged to resource the fund, in order to make sure that they are proportionate to their overall revenue. We also heard concerns from some stakeholders that the current operator of Down Royal is a privately funded company and, therefore, it is questionable whether it should be entitled to fund payments.

We sought assurances from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs about that. The Department advised that, so long as the operator uses fund payments for the specific purpose of supporting horse-racing activities, it is not of relevance. The Committee was content with that rationale.

Officials from DAERA briefed the Committee on the clauses on 16 September and confirmed that its primary purpose was to reinstate the allocation of fund payments to both racecourses in County Down through amendments to the 1990 Order. The Committee questioned the officials about the prospect of widening the scope of the fund to allow greyhound tracks to make applications and for them to use the licence fees currently charged to bookmakers. DAERA officials advised that the limitations of the fund are acknowledged and that the Department is committed to undertaking a fundamental strategic review of it in the long term but that will take time and require input and engagement from other Departments.

On 23 September, the Committee received evidence from Down Royal and Downpatrick racecourses. The Committee heard that the inability to access fund payments has had a major impact on their revenue and that, as a result, they have had to resort to other means of subsidising their income to maintain their activities. In the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, the inability to access fund payments has come at a particularly challenging time for the courses and has prevented them from making improvements to their facilities. We heard how crucial fund payments are to subsidising the prize pot payments available at each racecourse. That is important for attracting high-quality races and maintaining spectator levels.

The Committee therefore supports clause 1, which removes specific references to named beneficiaries in the 1990 Order and replaces those with a generic definition. That will allow fund payments to resume to Downpatrick and Down Royal. The Committee agreed that an amendment should be brought forward that would enable operators to apply for backdated payments so that they could access lost income from 2019 and 2020. The Committee therefore welcomes and supports the amendment brought forward by the Minister that will enable retrospective fund applications until the end of the transition period. The Committee also supports the amendment under clause 1 that will enable DAERA to make future changes to named operators through secondary legislation to avoid any future delay or suspension of fund allocations.

The Committee also supports clause 2, which will give greater flexibility to racecourse operators to make financial submissions independently or jointly. Committee members are also content with clause 3, which removes obsolete references in the 1990 Order relating to rules and by-laws of the Down Royal Corporation. The Committee did not identify any issues with clauses 4 to 6, which are technical and/or inconsequential.

The Committee is also content with the amendment that the Minister tabled that will put in place transitional arrangements for the calendar year 2022 only and avoid any further delays for operators in receiving allocations. The Committee acknowledges the issue raised by stakeholders that there should be a comprehensive review of the fund to look at what entities should be eligible to apply and about how the fund is operated. We also recognise that there is some discontent about the fees currently charged to bookmakers for the fund and that it is important to ensure that those be fair and proportionate to their overall revenue. The Committee acknowledges, however, that those measures will take time and cross-departmental collaboration, and, in that context, it did not consider it appropriate to provide for that in the Bill; instead, it has made a recommendation to DAERA and the Department for Communities to take those work streams forward.

In summary, the AERA Committee supports the Bill and the need to restore speedily the ability of Down Royal and Downpatrick racecourses to access fund payments to support their activities, which provide an important social outlet for the public and greatly benefit the local economy.

Photo of William Irwin William Irwin DUP 3:00 pm, 16th November 2021

As stated, the Bill addresses a technical issue on a specific set of circumstances relating to two racecourses in Northern Ireland. The reason for the change is to allow the racecourses to make applications to the horse racing fund to support their operating costs. That has not been possible for some time, owing to a number of technicalities that the Bill is designed to address. The amendments focus on the supply of financial statements on expenditure and accounts for the racecourses concerned.

The Bill's general thrust received broad agreement in the Committee. That being the case and given that the call for evidence opened and closed back in the summer, the Bill before the House represents an adjustment and correction of the technicalities that have prevented payments from being made for some time. The Bill enables that impasse to end and payments to be applied for again. For that reason, I do not intend to say much more on the matter, other than that I support the Bill.

Photo of Pat Catney Pat Catney Social Democratic and Labour Party

Thank you, Minister, for introducing the legislation. We support it. This is an important piece of legislation, needed to maintain the economic security of two of our key businesses. The Horse Racing (Northern Ireland) Order 1990 named the beneficiaries of the horse racing fund, and the change of ownership of Down Royal Racecourse led to the suspension of payments from the fund to both Down Royal and Downpatrick. This is a very focused piece of legislation that will ensure that the payments are resumed.

The two racecourses play a key role in the Northern Ireland economy, with Deloitte's analysts totalling the economic benefit of Down Royal and Downpatrick at roughly £9 million. Both racecourses also contribute to the agriculture sector through rural employment and the breeding and training of horses. It is important to consider the key jobs that will be supported: those who maintain the courses and organise the races, the trainers and the breeders. Without the support of the horse racing fund, we cannot guarantee the future of our two racecourses. The fund was established to help with prize money and maintain the racecourses, including the safety and welfare of the horses, the staff and the racecourses. Down Royal and Downpatrick racecourses have successfully maintained their standards during the absence of the fund, but that will not be sustainable forever. It is important that access to the fund is resumed.

Horse racing is a social event, and the industry, like many sectors, suffered due to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. As a Lagan Valley MLA, like the Minister himself, I was delighted that Down Royal's recent festival of racing sold out. That is a positive image for the future of horse racing, proving that people in Northern Ireland were excited to get back to the races. After a tough 18 months for the industry, it was great to see so many people enjoying the social occasion. Now the Assembly can support the industry by resuming payments from the horse racing fund to Down Royal and Downpatrick.

I have to ask about our greyhounds. The subject has been touched on, but tracks sit within the scope of the legislation. They, too, have struggled with the impact of the pandemic, but lack the same support. Hopefully, that is something that the Minister will, as he said in his opening remarks, consider.

However, I support the legislation and hope to see it enacted in a timely manner so that those important funds can be accessed as quickly as possible. In addition to the reinstatement of the fund, I encourage that the Minister to investigate retrospective payments to the racecourses from the horse racing fund. The Committee heard during evidence sessions that Down Royal had been ineligible for payments from the fund since the current owners commenced operation in 2019, so has been without funding since then. The horse racing fund currently has a large sum that has not been able to be paid to the two racecourses, so I encourage the Minister to look into making appropriate retrospective payments to both racecourses in line with the objectives of the fund.

We have had horse racing at Down Royal for 300 years. Many a great sporting day has been had there. This legislation will bring it forward from when it got its charter to run races.

Photo of Rosemary Barton Rosemary Barton UUP

This Bill is a technical issue related to the two racecourses at the Maze, sometimes referred to as Down Royal, and Downpatrick, both of which received financial assistance. That assistance helped towards prize money, general expenses on race days and assistance towards the cost of improving the racetracks and facilities for spectators.

The 1990 Order extended the horse racing fund to include Downpatrick Racecourse, but the financial assistance was limited to prize money, general costs on race days and spectator safety. This legislation ensured that licensed bookmakers paid an annual fee, which the Department of Agriculture distributed to the beneficiaries at each of the horse racing courses. At Downpatrick Racecourse, that was known as "the company", while, at the Maze, the operators were referred to as "the corporation".

The change of ownership at Down Royal in 2019 brought about the suspension of payments. Consequently, the payments from the horse racing fund to the racecourse ceased, and Downpatrick racecourse also received no funding. Therefore, a resolution had to be sought to restore the funding from the horse racing fund to both racecourses.

There were options: do nothing, amend the 1990 Order or carry out a strategic review of the 1990 Order. Do nothing was not an option. Carrying out a strategic review would have involved a number of cross-departmental issues and the length of time needed to do that was not within our gift, so we looked at the second option, which was to change, as soon as possible, the named operator at Down Royal. The second option was the most suitable for reinstating funding for both racecourses as soon as possible. That option also negated potential negative impacts such as failure to attract top competitors and thus downgrading the quality of racing. That would also impact on tourism in the area.

Supporting the amendments to the Bill ensures that both racecourses will continue to receive funding to attract top competitors to the meetings, and that will have a positive impact.

Photo of Kellie Armstrong Kellie Armstrong Alliance

Thank you, Minister. On behalf of the Alliance Party, I support the progression of the Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill and the amendments to it. The Bill is largely technical in nature and has been introduced ostensibly as a result of nuances within the Horse Racing (Northern Ireland) Order 1990, which governs the management and allocation of payments from the horse racing fund to Down Royal and Downpatrick racecourses.

The Minister has said, rightly, that the Department for Communities is taking through the Betting, Gaming, Lotteries and Amusements (Amendment) Bill. That is ongoing. Indeed, the Committee Stage investigation is still happening. The Minister has confirmed, rightly, that the Bill being taken forward by Communities will not deal with online gambling. That will have to happen in the next mandate. The revenue that can be generated from online gambling would be substantial and would certainly go a long way towards helping both our racecourses. As a long-established and popular pastime, horse racing has a vibrant support base across Northern Ireland, as well as being a significant generator of activity for the local economy.

Whilst I am happy to support the Bill based on these technical and legal amendments, I am hopeful that similar provision or legislation in the future will be broader in scope and will perhaps be more focused on increasing participation in sports. In the meantime, at this stage, the Alliance Party is happy to support the Bill and the amendments.

Photo of Edwin Poots Edwin Poots DUP

Before I turn to the proposed amendments, I will take the opportunity to respond briefly to some of the issues that have been raised.

The Committee Chair raised the issue of a private limited company having access to the fund. The 1990 Order does not set any restriction as to the type of operation that may receive support from the fund. However, it does set out how the fund must be used in support of horse racing at the two named locations: Downpatrick and the Maze. Operators of the racecourses are required to provide a business plan to the Department in addition to the annual accounts. As a result, the use of the requirements of the 1990 Order is clearly audited. Therefore, it is the Department's view that there is no issue with the current operators of Down Royal being named as a beneficiary to the fund.

A number of Members raised the issue of the constraints that we applied when bringing the legislation forward. It has become evident to everyone who has been involved in the process that time would not have allowed us to open up the doors to look at other areas. Whilst there may be justification for other areas to seek to be included, that is a matter for a new Assembly and a new Minister to take forward in the future. It was important to address this issue now, but, had we added other issues to it, that certainly would have created potential for none of it to happen.

Many of the issues that have been raised today relate to things outside the direct scope of the short Bill as introduced. The Chair and others referred to the call for a strategic review of the fund operation, and others specifically mentioned extension of the fund to other beneficiaries. As I noted when introducing my amendments, the licensing of bookmakers in Northern Ireland is the responsibility of DFC. Currently, online bookmakers are not licensed. As a result, only bookmakers on the high street and those based on the racecourses on race-days pay into the horse racing fund.

Therefore, extending the beneficiaries of the fund at this stage to include greyhound racing, for example, or to support point-to-point racing without an extension of the levy, would mean that the level of support available to the two racecourses would be reduced, as payments from the fund would continue to rely only on the levy gathered from physical bookmakers. That reduction in the level of support would be unplanned and have an unintended consequence that the Department did not consult on. Hence the narrow focus of the Bill was necessary for it to meet its aim to fully reinstate funding as quickly as possible. However, as I have already said, I agree with the need for a strategic review to look at these things and, where necessary, to do this in cooperation with DFC, given that Department's responsibility for licensing of gambling in Northern Ireland.

The amendments are in keeping with the Bill's key aim of enabling reinstatement of funding as quickly as possible. As I said in my introduction, amendment No 1 is simply housekeeping. Amendment No 2 does two important things: it enables payments to be made from the fund for eligible spending incurred by racecourses in 2021, and it ensures that payments can be made in 2022. That can be done without delay.

Downpatrick has submitted the necessary paperwork for 2021, as noted, but it is not eligible for the payment due to subsidy control rules. Providing Down Royal with the scope to comply with the legislation for that period by submitting a statement of 2021 expenditure after Royal Assent will mean that both racecourses will be able to claim for expenditure incurred in 2021. Clause 4A also allows for the submission of statements of expenditure and plans for 2022, which, in turn, ensures that payments can be resumed as soon as possible after the Bill is enacted.

I thank the Committee for raising the issues of the payments for spend incurred by the racecourses in the period before the Bill is enacted, which amendment No 2 seeks to deal with. I point out that, while new clause 4A allows for the payments from the fund for eligible spend incurred prior to the Bill's enactment, it deals only with the calendar year 2021: the period after the end of the EU-exit transition period, when UK subsidy control rules will have applied. Any payment before that will be a breach of EU state aid rules that continue to apply to that period. Despite that, I believe that the amendment will be warmly welcomed by both racecourses.

I, again, take the opportunity to thank the Chairman and members of the AERA Committee and other MLAs for their contributions to the debate at Second Stage and today. As the objective of the Bill is to seek the full reinstatement of support under the horse racing fund as soon as possible, and, as amendment No 2 in particular ensures the delivery of that, I call on Members to support both amendments in this group.

Amendment No 1 made:

In page 2, line 24, at end insert -

<BR/>

&quot;(1A) In Article 2(2) (interpretation), omit the definition of &#x0027;modify&#x0027;.&quot; — [Mr Poots (The Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs).]

Clause 3, as amended, ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clause 4 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

New Clause

Amendment No 2 made:

After clause 4 insert -



&quot;Transitional and supplementary provision


 


4A.—(1) Down Royal Park Racecourse Limited must submit a statement of its expenditure for the year beginning with 1 January 2021 to the Department.


 


(2) Where a horse racecourse operator has not submitted a statement under Article 3(4) of the 1990 Order for the year beginning with 1 January 2022, the operator must submit a statement for the year to the Department.


 


(3) A statement submitted under subsection (2) must include—


(a) the expenditure of the horse racecourse operator for the period beginning with 1 January 2022 and ending on the day the operator submits the statement, and


(b) the proposed budget and expenditure plans for the horse racecourse operator for the period beginning with the day after the day on which the statement is submitted and ending on 31 December 2022.


 


(4) The statements referred to in subsections (1) and (2) must be submitted before the end of the period of two weeks beginning with the day after the day on which this Act receives Royal Assent.


 


(5) In the 1990 Order –


(a) Article 3(5) has effect as if the reference to the statement submitted under paragraph (4) of the Article included a statement submitted under subsection (1) or (2),


(b) for the purposes of accounts prepared under Article 5 of the 1990 Order for the year ending on 31 December 2021, Article 5(2) has effect as if the reference to April were to June,


(c) Article 6(1)(a) has effect as if the reference to works under Article 3(5)(b) or (c) proposed in any statement submitted under Article 3(4) included works under Article 3(5)(b) or (c) to which expenditure in a statement submitted under subsection (1) or (2) relates,


(d) Article 10(1)(b) has effect as if the duty to prepare an annual statement of accounts for a period of 12 months ending on 31 December in each year included a duty for Down Royal Park Racecourse Limited to prepare such a statement for the year ending on 31 December 2021, and


(e) for the purposes of accounts prepared under Article 10(1) of the 1990 Order for the year ending on 31 December 2021, Article 10(3) has effect as if the reference to April were to June.


 


(6) In this section—


&#x0027;the Department&#x0027; means the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs;


&#x0027;horse racecourse operator&#x0027; has the meaning given by Article 2(2) of the 1990 Order.&quot; — [Mr Poots (The Minister of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs).]

New clause ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Clauses 5 and 6 ordered to stand part of the Bill.

Long title agreed to.

Photo of Roy Beggs Roy Beggs UUP 3:15 pm, 16th November 2021

That concludes the Consideration Stage of the Horse Racing (Amendment) Bill. The Bill stands referred to the Speaker. I ask Members to take their ease for a few moments.