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Betfair TVG officials miffed at TOC stance on exchange betting
INGLEWOOD, Calif. – The decision by the board of directors of the Thoroughbred Owners of California last week to table a vote on implementing exchange betting for at least a year was met with dismay and anger by officials with Betfair TVG, who said over the weekend they will continue to pursue implementation of the new form of wagering.
Stephen Burn, the chief executive officer of Betfair TVG, said he was given only a brief warning last Friday that the TOC would not support starting exchange betting for the upcoming Del Mar meeting, which runs from July 18 to Sept. 5.
Betfair TVG and Del Mar had hoped to launch exchange betting this summer, pending approval from the TOC, the state’s official representative of horsemen in the state, and a completion of the rulemaking procedures by the California Horse Racing Board.
“It was a surprise to find out (the decision) on Friday after months of close negotiations with the most senior members of the TOC,” Burn said in a phone interview on Sunday. “We thought we were working well.
“At some point, I hope for a fuller explanation to better understand.
“We’ve been talking for some time and in good faith. We think there will be exchange wagering at some time.”
The TOC board opted not to take a vote on whether to implement exchange betting, which allows customers to post odds and accept wagers on whether a horse will win or lose a race. Exchange betting has grown in popularity in England in the last decade; Betfair has the largest exchange betting website in that country.
Betfair TVG officials said they may pursue exchange betting with other breeds.
Burn said no conversations have been held with Los Alamitos officials on exchange betting on Quarter Horse racing, but, “I wouldn’t rule it out.”
“We would like to work with other states or breeds that will work with us,” he said.
In a statement released late Friday, the TOC said it will not take up the issue of exchange betting for a year. There has been widespread concern from trainers that they could be scrutinized for alleged wrongdoing through exchange betting, particularly when a horse is bet to lose.
Burn on Sunday reiterated a position that Betfair TVG made in a statement released over the weekend, saying that California racing will miss out on revenue from exchange betting. In its statement, Betfair TVG called the TOC decision, “A bleak day for California racing.”
Friday, the TOC stated its support for a reciprocal agreement between the Frank Stronach-owned HRTV and TVG for the two television networks to share the exclusive signals they each control. In California, HRTV has exclusive rights to races from Golden Gate Fields and Santa Anita, both Stronach-owned tracks, while TVG has exclusive rights to Del Mar and Hollywood Park.
Burn said that previous discussions between Betfair TVG and HRTV about reciprocal agreements were unsuccessful. He said that the absence of HRTV on many cable and satellite providers makes such an arrangement difficult.
“I have never heard from (racing fans) that they can’t see Hollywood Park or Del Mar,” he said. “We can talk about parity when HRTV has the same distribution as TVG.
“We are spending millions of dollars to ensure that our pictures are more widely distributed.”
At an open forum for members at Hollywood Park on Sunday, TOC chairman Mike Pegram said he wanted reciprocal telecasting agreements to be part of future licensing agreements for racetracks.
“Hopefully, we’ll get this stalemate eliminated,” he said.
Burn did not attend the forum and declined to comment on Pegram’s statement.
One last thought...it might be interesting if New Jersey beats CA to the punch and offers a different model....perhaps one operated exclusively to the benefit of the horsemen.
Exchange wageringing is great for the bettor. You get fixed odds. Unlike pm where big bettors who bet late skew the pools.
multiple UK champion, multiple Derby winning jockey Kieron Fallon made front page news when it was alleged that he held horses.....if a millionaire, champion jockey can be tempted, what about the journeymen who make 25k per year?? http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-486675/Champion-jockey-Kieren-Fallon-threw-27-races-2m-betting-scam.html
If Betfair get into the USA, I predict these things: 1. massive reduction in revenue from tote betting 2. massive front page news scandals about jockey, trainers and owners "losing intentionally" for profit (as has happened on numerous occasion in th UK) 3. massive reduction in purse money (on par with UK racing which is about $4k per race)
Lets look at a race going off 5 minutes from when I'm writing this. The 3rd race at Finger Lakes. BetFair has trading for this race for it's international customers. Its a 6 horse field going 5f. First, lets look at the prices I could have gotten a $50 bet on the six entries through the trading exchange: 1. +720 2. +660 3.+360 4.+470 5. +3000 6. +230 The race is 1 minute from post right now, $30,000 traded at BetFair, $10,000 bet through the pari-mutual.................... Race is over, final amounts : BetFair traded $35,000, pari-mutual $28,000. Now lets look at the final payout prices for the same 6 horse through the pari mutual track pool. 1. +475 2. +550 3. +270 4. +305 5. +2240 6. +190 3 things should become evident with this comparison. 1. The horseplayer gets MUCH better payoffs on his wins, which simply means, he wins a lot more money when he wins, and that translates into a BIG difference in his yearly bottom line. 2. If people outside of the United States, who can bet on anything can generate $35,000 in completed trades for a Monday race at FingerLakes, what does that tell you? 3. The pari-mutual pool had $10k in win bets with 1 minute to post, and closed with $28k in win bets. Don't you think horse players get tired of late money changing the odds drastically at the last minute at these smaller tracks? How could anyone ever seriously make win bets to try and make a yearly profit in this matter?
I'm all for it as I'd love to lay on some of these chalks plus get fixed odds on winners but let's face it we the big money is in exotic wagering just look at the handles. Exchange wagering is WIN only and this does not stimulate wagering dollars. I hope it gets approved so there is another option available but can't see this being as huge as TVG would like us to believe. OH and I have to bash TVG on air host's...ESP Gino and the Sarge you know the old saying empty barrels make the most noise!!!
Betfair has been lobbying for some time now to get sports gambling legalized in the U.S.If that became a reality,horse racing would take a beating,simply because there are only X amount of gambling dollars people have and if gamblers could bet football legally on a weekend,they would even consider the ponies.When it comes to promoting horse racing in the U.S.,I've always felt that Betfair were just wolves in sheep's clothing
Maybe Betfair TVG needs the commissions on exchange wagering to afford High Definition?
Watching TVG is painful.the guy's are clown's. They talk about where they went to dinner and how good the place took care of them.When i watch i turn the sound off.The owner's of TVG need to watch HRTV AND GET RID OF MOST OF THE CLOWN'S.Exchange betting is not going to save racing or get the young kid's out of the poker room's.Racing need's to play the game the same way first.Uniform rule's are needed real bad to save the game.
Integrity? Account wager aka exchange allows every transaction to be monitored. And Betfair has been vigilant in prosecuting suspicios wagering patterns. Pool wgering is unmonitored. Wherever there is wagering (or investing) there will be shenanigans. Account wagering gives authorities better to tools to monitor.