In the latest episode of the Big Betting Balagan podcast, the hosts spoke to Nick Rust OBE, former Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA) and a seasoned gambling industry veteran.

What is it?

Nick Rust OBE discussed his long and distinguished career in the British gambling industry, such as his time at Ladbrokes and Sky Bet, and highlighted what he believes are his main achievements in the sector.

Who is it?

Lee Richardson: Co-host, Big Betting Balagan Podcast & Chief Executive, Gaming Economics

Dan Phillips: Co-host, Big Betting Balagan Podcast & CEO, NEL Advisory

Vigne Kozacek: Co-host, Big Betting Balagan Podcast & iGaming and Sports Betting Technology and Security Consultant


Nick Rust OBE: Former Chief Executive of the British Horseracing Authority (BHA), former Managing Director, Retail and Managing Director, Channels at Ladbrokes, former Managing Director, Remote Gambling and Coral Retail and Managing DirectorRetail Betting at Gala Coral Group, and former Director of Betting and Gaming at BSKYB.

What is being said?

“If I look back and actually say, not that it will be appraised this way, but some of the work that I’m most proud of it’s got nothing to do with betting,” Rust remarked.

“You know it’s the equine welfare stuff which is so much in vogue now. I was vilified quite a bit, two years ago for saying the industry was doing really well but needed to do more, and the public opinion did matter, and that we had to keep ahead of public opinion and not rest on our laurels.

“I actually compared our situation after the events of Cheltenham a few years ago, saying ‘let’s not get into a situation where we’re hunting has been,’ where it says ‘look, there’s nothing here at all.’

He also reflected on his role in reforming the horse racing betting levy to take digital and offshore revenues further into account, commenting: “We went into discussions with the government but also with bookmakers and said that it needed to change. 

“There was quite a lot of resistance, there was the politics of the Levy Board that was wanting to help engineer a solution and perhaps that solution would have been, you know 5% or 7% of digital revenues, and we said that we didn’t feel that was right.

“Some people say I went to war with the bookies –  I would say  that it was high-risk in some ways, because I was asserting still that if you’re a British betting customer, you are worth more to the betting operators if you bet on British racing.”

Why should I watch it?

To hear the insights of a veteran horse racing official and betting industry figure regarding a variety of topics such as the Levy, horse racing welfare and operator management.

Where can I see more?

Source: The Big Betting Balagan YouTube Channel

Nick Rust OBE reflects on his role in racing’s reform