Britain to Step Up Betting-Exchange Restrictions

More people connected with racehorses in Great Britain will be banned from betting them to lose effective Dec. 1, the British Jockey Club has ruled.

The action follows a rule introduced Sept. 1, 2003 that prohibits owners, trainers, and stable staff from betting that their horses will lose through betting exchanges. The rule has been widened to include "persons who provide a service to a trainer," such as veterinarians, farriers, and equine dentists. Penalties range from a three-month disqualification to 10 years on the sidelines.

Betting exchanges, considered a growing segment of the wagering business, aren't pari-mutuel. Players are allowed to pick their odds and play horses to lose. Some racing officials have questioned the impact exchanges have on the integrity of the game.

"The amendment is a logical progression to what we introduced last year, and is designed to extend the rule to include those individuals who, although unlicensed, come into close proximity with horses ready to run," said Paul Scotney, director of security for the Jockey Club. "The expansion of the rule is intended to act as a further deterrent to the misuse of privileged information."