New Integrity Measures to be Introduced By the Jockey Club
Published: 28 January 2003
Jockey Club Announce Further Integrity Measures
Following a report from its Integrity Review Committee, the Jockey Club will introduce during 2003 a range of measures designed to increase confidence in the integrity of the sport and to further deter the potential for malpractice.
These measures include a clampdown on the security of the weighing room area, enhanced camera coverage of racecourse stables, restrictions on the use of mobile phones by jockeys and a ban on trainers laying horses on betting exchange sites. In addition, while awaiting legislation with regard to the establishment of a Gambling Commission, the Jockey Club is in the process of trying to negotiate agreements with both betting exchanges and bookmakers to enable the Jockey Club to gain access to betting information relevant to races the subject of investigation.
In June last year, following the lifting of the reporting restrictions on the trials relating to the activities of Brian Wright and his associates the Jockey Club re-convened its Integrity Review Committee to consider whether further measures were advisable. The Committee, chaired by the Senior Steward, Christopher Spence, had previously met in 2000 and made a number of recommendations which were introduced the following year. In addition to the original membership, a former Chief Constable, Ben Gunn, and a barrister, Jeremy Gompertz QC, an expert in criminal law, were recruited to the re-convened Committee.
Christopher Spence, Senior Steward and Chairman of the Integrity Review Committee, said: “These measures follow on from the comprehensive review carried out two years ago. On this occasion, however, the Committee had the benefit of being able to take account of evidence given at the ‘Wright Trials’, which had not been available in 2000, as well as other developments and areas of concern. The measures will be introduced during 2003. Some of them are currently subject to consultation with interested parties and others are awaiting the provision of funding prior to their implementation.
“I have been encouraged by the response of those parties that we have so far liaised and consulted with. For example, representatives from the Jockeys’ Association have demonstrated an open minded and positive attitude to the impending restrictions on mobile phones, despite the inconvenience this will cause to many of their members. Demonstrations of collective responsibility from within the industry boost confidence in the integrity of the sport and send out a strong message to the public about racing’s intentions.
The Senior Steward added: “Since there is likely to be a delay of some years before the Government’s proposed Gambling Commission is established and able to take a firmer grip on the regulation of betting, the Jockey Club is in discussions with both betting exchanges and off course bookmaking companies to develop our own working relationships in order to have access to an audit trail of bets struck. The aim is to agree upon ways in which matters causing concern from an integrity perspective can be followed up in conjunction with the betting industry. Confidence in the integrity of racing’s product is vital for both the racing and betting industry.”
Summary of the main recommendations of the Integrity Review Group:
1. The security of the weighing room and changing room areas should become the responsibility of the Jockey Club.
This would include the recruitment of Weighing Room Security Officers to oversee the policing of security in these areas, the use of CCTV to monitor access to the jockeys’ changing rooms and revised rules governing access to the weighing room and changing room. An application for funding has been made to the Levy Board, via BHB.
2. Restrictions should be placed on the use of mobile phones by jockey on racecourses.
A proposal regarding restrictions on the use of mobile phones by jockeys has been developed by the Jockey Club following consultation with the Jockeys’ Association. Further discussions will take place with the jockeys, trainers and valets to agree on the details of the proposal. At this stage it is anticipated that the introduction of the restrictions will probably coincide with the introduction of the Weighing Room Security Officers.
3. An improved and expanded system of CCTV cameras should be installed in racecourse stables.
The IRC has recommended the installation of up to 12 CCTV colour cameras per site, linked to a central monitoring and recording facility. The precise quantity of CCTV cameras will differ according to each racecourse design. All racecourse stables have been equipped with four monochrome CCTV cameras since 1994/5. An application for funding has been made to the Levy Board, via BHB.
4. Rules should be introduced which make it an offence for a trainer to lay a horse through a betting exchange account.
Following preliminary discussions with the NTF and betting exchanges the matter will now be further discussed and developed with the interested parties. Further consideration is being given by the Jockey Club to the question of whether restrictions on laying should be extended to any other persons bound by the Rules of Racing who may possess privileged information, e.g owners, stable staff.
28th January 2003
Notes for Editors:
1. The Membership of the Integrity Review Committee was as follows:
Christopher Spence (Chairman) Senior Steward of the Jockey Club
Ben Gunn CBE Former Chief Constable
Jeremy Gompertz QC Barrister, expert in criminal law
Philip Blacker Former jockey, JC member
Sir Michael Connell High Court Judge, JC member
Sir Thomas Pilkington Former Senior Steward
Gurney Sheppard Security Steward
Christopher Foster Executive Director
Malcolm Wallace Director of Regulation
Richard Smith Manager of Licensing Department
Graham Walcroft – Secretary Controller of Rules
2. The recommendations of the Integrity Review Committee’s first report were introduced to:
(a) Deter licensed persons passing on information for reward about horses which is not publicly available (Rule 243);
(b) Place strict limits on associations between jockeys and betting organisations at the racecourse (Rule 62);
(c) Make it an offence for any persons subject to the Rules of Racing to obstruct Jockey Club investigations (Rule 242);
(d) Introduce Codes of Conduct for trainers and jockeys covering such matters as associations with those that may pose a threat to the integrity of horseracing, relationships with betting organisations, and duties to report malpractice and unusual financial transactions.
3. In its submission to the Gambling Review in 1999, the Jockey Club recommended that “A formal ‘gateway’ be established between the new Regulatory body for gambling and the Jockey Club, for the passing of information relevant to investigations or enquiries into malpractice.”
28th January 2003