Federation Forming Plan to Combat Unauthorized Wagering

The International Federation of Horseracing Authorities has adopted policies that target unauthorized wagering on races.

During the organization's annual meeting Oct. 4 in Paris, 50 organizations agreed on the basic principles concerning cross-border betting services. The measures will be the foundation of an action plan, according to a release from the IFHA.

The group agreed no one should be permitted to offer wagering on races without having the permission of the jurisdiction that stages the events or the rights-holder of racing data and pictures. It also said no one should offer wagering to citizens of countries in which it is forbidden.

"I am extremely pleased about this agreement," Louis Romanet, president of France Galop and the IFHA, said in a prepared statement. "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 unauthorized 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, said companies that want to offer betting services to citizens of countries where they do not have a license must be stopped. He said the new agreement supports "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," Jockey Club president Alan Marzelli said.

Wong and Marzelli will be joined by Bertrand BĂ©linguier, president and director-general of French PMU, on the IFHA Steering Committee on Wagering. The 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.