The Asian Racing Federation (ARF), a group of horse racing governing bodies in Asia, is putting pressure on governments to increase safety measures in race meetings to help prevent illegal betting in these events.
The ARF’s position is clear: if an online betting company wants to offer bets on a specific horse racing event, they need to get permission from the event’s intellectual property owners.
According to the ARF, unauthorized international wagering operators are horning in on the racing action in Hong Kong, Australia, New Zealand, and Singapore without paying for the privilege.
ARF Secretary General Andrew Harding believes operators need the necessary green light from a country’s racing industry to offer bets on their races. “If a wagering operator wants to take bets on a country’s races, then the first step should be to determine if that is acceptable to the racing industry that is putting on the show,” Harding said.
The former senior Australian racing executive gave the New Zealand Derby and the Singapore KrisFlyer as examples of races owned by their country’s respective racing organizations. If somebody wants to make money out of betting on them, “then get the permission to do so.”
The process of weeding out unauthorized international betting firms has already begun in Australia after Prime Minister Tony Abbott created a working group to stamp out operators who continue to offer bets on Australian sports. Harding believes the same procedure should be adopted internationally.
The federation also said that it would keep a close watch on this weekend’s race in Hong Kong, which is widely believed to be one of the biggest days in the racing calendar. Turnover is expected to reach over HK$1 billion, or about $156 million.