Monday, October 04, 2004Contact: Maurits Bruggink
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Racing authorities agree on measures to combat unauthorized betting

During the Annual General Meeting of the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) held in Paris on 4 October, horse racing authorities of 50 countries agreed on the basic principles to be respected concerning the provision of cross-border betting services. These measures will form the cornerstone of an Action Plan to combat all types of unauthorised betting on horse races.

The IFHA agreed upon two common principles: Firstly, no one should be permitted to offer betting possibilities on races without having the express agreement of the racing authority staging those events or the rights holder of the racing data and pictures. Secondly, no one should offer betting possibilities to people living in countries where it is forbidden by law.

“I am extremely pleased about this agreement,” explains Louis Romanet, President of France Galop and President of the IFHA. “Our industry is substantially funded by the revenues from betting. New technologies like the Internet have made it possible for ‘pirates’ to offer betting services without paying for the product they are basing their business model on. We will not sit along the sideline and watch this happen. With these principles, the entire global racing industry has joined hands in the fight against unauthorised use of the racing product for betting purposes.”

Larry Wong, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Jockey Club and President of the Asian Racing Federation adds: “It is important that we stop those companies that wish to offer betting services to citizens of countries where they do not have a licence. With our current agreement, we support the national integrity over betting policies and rules.”

“We are very serious about these issues and we have agreed upon an Action Plan which consists of a number of concrete actions to implement these principles worldwide,” concludes Alan Marzelli, President of The Jockey Club (U.S.).

Wong and Marzelli are joined by Bertrand Bélinguier, President and Director-General of French PMU, to form IFHA’s Steering Committee on Wagering. This Committee will lead the Federation’s activities on wagering. Earlier this year, the IFHA appointed an executive director, Maurits Bruggink, to exclusively deal with betting issues.

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