JRA hits out at Betfair for offering Japanese racing
The Japan Racing Authority (JRA) has criticised Betfair Australia and other betting exchanges after a dispute with the Flutter-owned operator over its offering of Japanese racing that saw Betfair pull the markets from its site.
In March, Betfair announced that it would offer Japanese racing on its Australian exchange. This, the JRA said, came without the Authority receiving any notice of the plans.
The JRA sent two letters to Betfair calling for the operator to stop offering the market, before on 28 May, it did so “thanks to the cooperation and support from racing authorities and other connections in Australia and other countries”.
The JRA said its opposition to Betfair offering Japanese racing markets was due to the fact that betting exchanges offer bettors the opportunity to bet against a horse winning.
“The betting exchange platform which allows betting on losers or profit from a horse not winning is totally unacceptable from the standpoint of maintaining integrity and also from the principles of sports that all competitors should aim to win,” the JRA said. “The JRA strongly opposes betting exchanges and urges operators not to offer exchange wagering on Japanese racing, or to provide the service to Japanese citizens.
The JRA added that Betfair had specifically promised not to offer bets on Japanese racing when it first received a licence in Australia.
“The JRA has consistently opposed this type of wagering for years,” it continued. “When Betfair obtained a licence for exchange betting in Australia in 2006, the JRA sent a letter to express our concerns about betting exchange covering Japanese racing.
“At that time, the CEO of Betfair replied to us that they would not accept bets from people in Japan and have no plan and intention to offer a betting exchange market on Japanese racing.”
The JRA said the dispute was similar to one last year between Betfair and the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) after the exchange operator offered bets on racing in Hong Kong in September 2019. The HKJC then told Betfair Australia to “immediately cease and desist” offering betting exchange wagering on its races.
“The jockeys who are licensed to ride in Hong Kong objected to being exposed to the suspicion and innuendo that will inevitably be associated with riding a beaten favorite that has been heavily laid on a betting exchange,” the JRA said. “In response to The HKJC’s protests, Betfair decided to cease betting exchange on Hong Kong racing shortly afterward.
“We share the same view with The HKJC in that betting exchanges pose threats to the integrity of racing.”