International Federation Sets Sights on Alleged Race Fixing

The International Federation of Horse Racing Authorities has created an executive director position to oversee the design and implementation of a plan to curtail illegal wagering around the world.

The executive council of the IFHA, with the backing of its 64 members, voted unanimously for the action plan and the creation of the position. Executive director Maurits Bruggink will oversee the initiative. He will report to the executive council, which is composed of 12 racing executives from Europe, Americas, and Asia.

According to a press release issued by the IFHA, illegal wagering on horseracing is "a practice that is threatening the integrity and good name of racing, the tax revenue provides to governments, and the rule of law and social welfare worldwide."

Race fixing allegations have risen around the world in recent months almost in correlation with the rise in popularity of betting exchanges. Not legal in the United States, betting exchanges allow handicappers to either bet on or against a horse to win. This could facilitate a horse being kept from winning, and in exchange a person in the know could cover all the win action on the horse and guarantee a profit.

Recently, a bookmaker in England said at least one race a day is fixed. However, those allegations have been denied by the British Jockey Club. British officials chalked the accusation up to the continuing war for market share between betting exchanges and traditional bookmakers.