Wednesday, August 30, 2006Contact: Brian Kavanagh, HRI
+353.45.842 800
Irish racing deal with betting exchange

The Irish racing authorities have agreed two deals with the company Betfair, the British betting exchange.

In a commercial agreement with Horse Racing Ireland (HRI), the betting exchange agreed to pay 10 per cent of its gross profit on Irish horseracing.

The betting exchange’s turnover is based on a commission on winning bets. With a commission of around 3 to 4%, the contribution to Irish racing will therefore have to be quite some less than 0.3-0.4% of betting volume. The betting exchange's contribution will extend to all foreign bets on Irish racing, which is believed to be around 75% of total betting on the exchange.

The total value of the betting exchange’s contribution to Irish racing is an estimated €1 million per year.

In parallel with the above, the Irish Turf Club agreed on a Memorandum of Understanding with the betting exchange on data sharing to identify suspicious betting behaviour.

The vast majority of racing authorities around the world fiercely oppose exchange betting for its insignificant contribution to racing. More important, they believe that betting on horses to lose, a feature specific to exchange betting, is an open invitation to corruption of races. They point at the high-profile scandals in racing and other sports where the outcomes of events have been manipulated by those who bet through an exchange.