A number of individuals from within bookmaking had already indicated a willingness to speak with HBF regarding concerns about account closures/restrictions and other betting issues, and it was with this in mind that HBF intends to engage with the betting industry in a spirit of sharing ideas and of obtaining clarity.
This includes: attempting to establish the true magnitude of the issue of account closure/restrictions; and making specific recommendations regarding greater flexibility in applying restrictions.
HBF will persevere in its attempts to establish contact with the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Racing and Bloodstock.
HBF has had clarification of SPRC’s remit and source of funding. It will be deferring any further comment until after SPRC has reported on the SP consultation process to which HBF submitted a proposal.
Reacting to a request for consideration from BHA, HBF is broadly in approval of additional data and data streams being made available but will seek clarification of exactly what these might be. HBF strongly supports any measures which would make data available in a timely and robust manner, especially data at a race-meeting level.
Reacting to a request for consideration from BHA, HBF will be placing on record that it does not favour any significant further increases in the fixture list, that it would like to see a greater geographical spread on given race days, and that it would like to see Sunday afternoons and Thursday evenings bolstered in particular.
However, it is aware of the limitations of the BHA’s powers in this area and will also seek further confirmation from the British horseracing betting public around these matters.
A representative of IBAS gave a short presentation and Q&A session. Clarification around methodologies and protocols was sought and given. It was felt that there are some areas in which IBAS and HBF could co-operate, such as in submissions to the UK Gambling Commission. There will be a new IBAS website in 2016 which should give better access to the public and visibility about rulings.
HBF intends surveying some of the British horseracing betting public it seeks to represent in the New Year, now that it has acquired a better idea of the issues and possible resolutions involved.
HBF does not have the resources or authority to consider individual cases of concern raised with it by the public (non-triers, horses deemed not to have started etc) but will establish a register of these and pass them on to the relevant bodies on a regular and formal basis.
The next HBF meeting will be at the BHA offices on the afternoon of Monday, 29 February 2016.