Thursday, January 27, 2005Contact: Maurits Bruggink
US racing organisation turns back on off-shore operators

The New York Racing Association (NYRA) stopped the simulcasting agreements with 4 betting operators on the Isle of Man, Curacao and an Oklahoma Indian reservation. These operators have been used by US bettors who have been accused of race fixing and illegal betting.

In the US, gambling is regulated at state level and the control of betting activities (and against race fixing) is therefore much more difficult in another state than where the race is held, and certainly in another country.

This week, the NYRA announced to stop supplying images to another 6 betting operators from St. Knitts, Aruba (both Caribbean), Darwin Australia and Idaho.

Many large US bettors use off-shore betting operators because their bets will flow back in the same pool, while they benefit from higher pay-outs ratios. The higher pay outs are possible because the off-shore operator receives a margin (rebate) from the original pool, which is partially passed on to the large bettor. This process is described as “rebating” in the US.

The effect has been that many bettors chose not to go directly to their state pool, but to go through outer state operators (rebaters), many of which are off-shore. Unfortunately for racing, the rebaters contribute less to financing of the races than the state pool operator.

Although the potential loss of business is great, the NYRA has clearly chosen for the long term objective to protect the integrity of the races. In the future, the NYRA will impose tougher disclosure requirements in their simulcasting arrangements.

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