03/02/2005 12:00AM

BetFair agrees to scrutiny


The Thoroughbred Racing Protective Bureau has reached an agreement with BetFair, the British-based betting-exchange company, that will allow the bureau to analyze BetFair's wagering data on U.S. races, the two companies announced Wednesday.

The agreement seeks to address suspicions that betting exchanges could be used to compromise the integrity of races. Betting exchanges allow individual bettors to post prices on horses and take wagers from other bettors, giving bettors the ability to bet on a horse to lose.

According to Paul Berube, the bureau's president, "It allows us to ask for records from them and allows them to volunteer to us any information if they see something suspicious. It's a two-way street."

Betfair has a similar arrangement with the British Jockey Club.

Chris Scherf, the executive vice president of the Thoroughbred Racing Associations, which owns the protective bureau, said that the agreement with Betfair "doesn't in any way constitute an endorsement of exchange wagering by the TRPB or TRA. It's simply another investigative tool."