Thursday, June 23, 2005Contact: Andrew Harding
Victoria (AU) to ban unauthorised use of racing data

The State Parliament of Victoria, one of Australia's main racing states, is currently considering a Bill to add provisions to the Gambling Regulation Act, 2003 which are intended to grapple with the threats to racing from unauthorized wagering.

Of most significance is new Section 2.5.16A relating to the publication of race fields. This new provision will create an offence prescribing that a wagering service provider must not, in Victoria or elsewhere, publish or otherwise make available a race field for valuable consideration without the approval of the appropriate controlling body. The phrase “wagering service provider” will be defined to include a pari-mutuel, betting exchange or bookmaker. The phrase “controlling body” will, for thoroughbred racing purposes, be Racing Victoria Limited, which is a member of the Australian Racing Board.

This legislation will represent a significant advance in Australia’s implementation of Article 28 of IFHA's International Agreement on Breeding Racing and Wagering, and in particular Clause III of the Article which provides that:

“The use of racing events, pictures and data relating thereto for wagering purposes shall only be made with the express consent of the organisation staging those racing events and/or its authorised licensees and franchisees and/or other relevant right holders.”

Debate on the Bill has been adjourned for sittings of the Victorian Parliament later this month. IFHA gives its full support to the Minister responsible for the legislation, the Hon. John Pandazopolous and encourages the Victorian Parliament to adopt this law as quick as possible.

When adopted, the law could be enforced anywhere in Australia.

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