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Reader “-Santiburi”- answers to Ron Cox’-s anti-BetFair diatribe:
Even the headline to this article is misleading for readers who don’-t really understand the links between the racing and betting industries.
In real terms, exchanges haven’-t changed anything as regards skullduggery. Yes, possibly other people than bookmakers can now more easily take advantage of negative information but the advent of exchanges didn’-t define the starting point for such actions. Exchanges seem to have assisted in uncovering evidence of skullduggery but I know without question that it’-s wrong to believe that more of the same wasn’-t happening before the exchanges arrived. Conveniently, as now, most bookmakers didn’-t have to, and don’-t, open their systems for investigation.
Racing needs betting. It wouldn’-t exist otherwise. One could argue for a pari-mutuel monopoly to eliminate bookmakers but that’-s a non-starter. Bookmakers own horses. Trainers keep owners informed on the well being of their horses and talk to the media about their horses. Trainers, stable staff, jockeys, owners have family and friends and talk to their friends about life, the world around them and, not surprisingly, their horses.
I am absolutely abhorred by the act of deliberately changing the result of a horse race through ‘-pulling‘- and such like. Ban those jockeys who are really guilty of such acts. However, trying to legislate for people, licensed by racing or not, talking to each other is ridiculous. Most of the officials trying to sort criminal acts from normal conversation are ill qualified for the role and, like most commentators it seems, don’-t really understand the links between racing and betting. Sadly, the sport of kings, which I love, will die soon unless some reality and professionalism is imposed upon it and its guardians.
– More info on the Winston/BetFair case (U.K.).
– Unrelated: More info on Western Australia (an Australian state/province) trying to forbid BetFair.
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