07 Apr 2004 Pre-2014 Releases

Commenting on the Report of the Joint Committee on the Draft Gambling Bill, BHB Chairman Peter Savill said today:

“We are very pleased that the Joint Scrutiny Committee has agreed with us that, in the interests of integrity, a distinction should be drawn between recreational and non-recreational layers on betting exchanges. We also welcome the fact that the Committee has recommended that those who derive significant financial reward from laying horses should in future make a larger contribution to the sport.

“As legislation is still, even on the most optimistic timetable, some way off, we urge DCMS to consider the introduction, in consultation with the betting exchanges, of a Code of Practice reflecting the Committee’s recommendations. Such a Code is already in place between bookmakers and the Gaming Board regarding Fixed Odds Betting Terminals.

“We support the recommendation in the Report that ‘all transactions above a certain level should automatically be reported to the Gambling Commission to assist the Commission’s monitoring of integrity’.

“There is, however, a difference between prevention and detection. Racing’s integrity is damaged if a malevolent act is committed, whatever the subsequent action taken. While we note the Committee’s view that ‘non-recreational users, at least in the first instance, are only likely to be identified retrospectively’, the priority must be to ensure that there is a reduced incentive to malpractice in the first place. Further consideration should be given to this issue.

“The availability of strong sanctions to the Gambling Commission will be an essential component of the new regulatory framework, and complementary to the activities of sports regulators themselves. We note the Committee’s confidence that the currently proposed additional enforcement powers of the Commission will be sufficient.

“We will be giving consideration, along with other parties, to the question of appropriate thresholds which define non-recreational laying and will contribute to the review of taxation of betting exchanges and their clients, announced by the Chancellor in his recent Budget.”