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Posted 2020-02-20 19:06:01  
Illegal betting a major threat

The biggest betting threat to the integrity of the sport of horseracing, is illegal betting influencing those involved in the sport to commit malpractice.


That’s the message from Tom Chignell, Executive Manager, Racing Integrity and Betting Analysis at the Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Speaking at the International Stewards’ Conference during the Asian Racing Conference in Cape Town on Tuesday, Chignell painted a bleak but fascinating picture of the threats facing the integrity of the sport – notably illegal betting.

While punters who bet with the tote are restricted to betting on horses winning, some illegal bookmakers, on the other hand, offer bets on horses not to win. This opens the door for illegal activities by unscrupulous individuals within the industry.

Focusing on the role of illegal bookmakers – and the results their activities have on the sport – he highlighted the role of Cryptocurrency Betting Operators.

According to Chignell, the Cryptocurrency betting market has grown, and continues to grow dramatically. These betting operators are growing in number, and turnover, with some, especially new entrants, accepting only cryptocurrency.

These betting operators are often situated outside robust regulatory jurisdictions, with many of them not licensed at all.

They do not have any recognised KYC (Know Your Customer) processes. In fact, their biggest drawcard is they do not know their customers, offering gamblers unheard of anonymity.

And as Chignell commented: “Any betting operator who accepts bets on your racing and does not provide you with information on suspicious betting activity, is a threat to the integrity of the sport.”

Some of these Cryptocurrency Betting Operators offer gamblers accounts without providing a name, or even an email address. No banking details are required by the betting operator.

Unregulated Cryptocurrency Betting Operators also actively promote betting on horseraces worldwide, without any obligation to provide any information to the racing operator.

This increased privacy makes it a useful asset for match or race fixing.

It also facilitates cross-border gambling payments and is extremely convenient for depositing and withdrawing funds.

For gamblers in the USA, for example, the movement of funds when betting offshore has always been problematic. Cryptocurrency solves this – albeit illegally.

One of the reasons why Cryptocurrency Betting Operators are a growing platform for illegal gambling, is the global trend to reduce bet limits, including in Asia. Gamblers have had their bets restricted.

According to Chignell, the anonymity, the speed at which illegal betting operators can adapt and the fact that no suspicious betting is reported, makes illegal bookmaking a threat to the sport of racing which cannot be ignored.

Bet monitoring is crucial to protecting the integrity of the sport, and for that reason the sport must be aware of crypto betting operators who bet on their sport, raise awareness, and express concerns to authorities where appropriate.

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