29 Jun 2009 Pre-2014 Releases

“The British Horseracing Authority welcomes the announcement by Sports Minister Gerry Sutcliffe that he is to establish a Sports Betting Integrity Panel.” said BHA Chief Executive Nic Coward on Thursday 25th June

“One of the greatest challenges of a sport is to ensure that it has the public’s confidence – and central to that is that everyone involved in a sporting contest is motivated only by doing the best they can to win a match or race. The attack on the integrity of sport from people looking to make financial gain through betting markets is very real, and ever-present.

British Horseracing has been the focus of liberalised, fixed odds betting activity for over 40 years. In many ways Racing has a unique experience of the relationship between a sport and betting, a relationship that gives rise to significant potential challenges, as well as significant potential benefits to the sport, and which is constantly evolving.

“In recent years British Horseracing has devoted considerable time and effort to addressing the challenge of betting related corruption, and a recent independent review has endorsed the success of this. We have overhauled our rules and practices, devoted considerable resource to building an effective monitoring, investigative and deterrence programme, acted with real determination against anyone found to be involved in corruption, and focussed on educating all involved in the sport on the importance of this issue. No one should underestimate the scale of the threat, and the scale of the task.

“Betting markets have opened up in recent years on other sports, and diversified in areas that could not have been foreseen, particularly with the growth of exchanges and online activity. The BHA has worked closely with other sports to help them understand the threats from betting related corruption.

“We are pleased the Minister has responded proactively to our suggestion that a review is needed of the current structures the UK has in place to deal with integrity. This builds on the joint conference we ran with the Government some three years ago.

“The BHA will assist the panel with its evidence gathering and provide best practice experience. We will also highlight areas where further change is needed in the relationship with betting and a sport on which a bet is struck, particularly addressing the challenges of remote, online betting.”