The British Horseracing Authority has completed a review into the position of Tattersalls Committee within the Rules of Racing. Since the Gambling Act came into force on 1st September 2007, gambling debts are now recoverable in law. Therefore, it is no longer deemed necessary or appropriate for the BHA to give effect to a decision of the Tattersalls Committee by excluding people from the sport and access to British racecourses.
The Authority has therefore acted to remove references to the Tattersalls Committee from the Rules of Racing. As a consequence funding from the Authority to the Committee of approximately £20,000 per annum has ceased.
The Committee will remain in existence as an adjudication service largely in relation to on-course betting disputes, with the new Administration of Gambling on Tracks Limited (formerly the NJPC) providing a secretariat role. The Committee will also maintain the Tattersalls Rules on Betting, the standard set of rules used by the on-course market.
All persons already on the list of Disqualified and Excluded persons as at 1 July 2008 by virtue of a debt incurred prior to 1st September 2007 will remain excluded from the sport until such time as verifiable proof of the discharge of the debt is provided to the Authority. Details of the procedure will be published on stage.britishhorseracing.com and in the Racing Calendar.
Chris Brand, the Authority’s Director of Finance and Corporate Services said, “The Authority has made this move to bring our Rules up to date and in line with current legislation. Punters should always check which dispute resolution service their bookmaker subscribes to, but in the majority of cases the on-course bookmakers use Tattersalls, reached through AGT, and the off-course bookmakers use IBAS.”
Tim Moore, Chief Executive of the AGT said. “On-course bookmakers are required under the terms of their operating licences to have a third-party dispute resolution service. They are also required to adhere to Tattersalls’ Rules, so maintaining the Committee was an imperative for them and we are pleased to facilitate the continued existence of such an historic horseracing body. We plan to have a root and branch review of the Committee’s activities, which may lead to some changes in the way that things are done, but the Committee will retain its autonomy once that is completed.”
Notes for Editors:
1. The Tattersalls Committee is an historic independent committee. It was funded in part by the Authority to adjudicate in betting disputes between parties and it set the rules of on-course betting.
2. Section 355 of the Gambling Act reads as follows:
(1) the fact that a contract relates to gambling shall not prevent its enforcement.
(2) Subsection (1) is without prejudice to any rule of law preventing the enforcement of a contract on the grounds of unlawfulness (other than a rule relating specifically to gambling).