8th September 2015: Inaugural Horseracing Bettors Forum meeting has taken place

The first Horseracing Bettors Forum, which took place at the BHA on Friday afternoon, was attended by all Forum members, with administrative support provided by BHA, and lasted for the full three and a half hours.

A wide range of Agenda topics were discussed, and it is the Forum’s intention to receive back the minutes and approve those minutes before issuing a fuller press release, probably towards the end of next week.

Nonetheless, we can reveal that the Forum voted by a majority to support a proposal for consideration by the Starting Price Regulatory Commission as part of that body’s consultation process.

The detailed proposal recommends adjustments to over-rounds at a race-level in instances in which those over-rounds fall outside agreed parameters. The Forum will also be registering its concern that those bookmakers which constitute the sample are too easily identified, or guessed at, given current SP methodology.

It discussed, in brief, Rule (B) 10.5.2 (the Speculative Bid rule) and agreed that the problem at Ascot was with the implementation of the Rule and with communication, and not necessarily with the Rule itself. We expect those involved to have learned from mistakes, which adversely affected bookmakers as well as punters, and for the experience not to be repeated. We do not recommend scrapping the Rule.

HBF has already received a large amount of correspondence regarding betting account restrictions and closures: it constitutes a sizeable majority of the Forum’s correspondence so far.

HBF will be seeking to establish to what degree this is representative of the problem more widely, by engaging with the BHA’s Racing & Betting Group and with other relevant stakeholders. The Forum has a number of suggestions and observations in this area but will not be going public with them until such engagement has taken place.

Other items discussed and actions agreed upon may be dealt with in that later press release.

HBF wishes to thank BHA for its considerable assistance in establishing the Forum and in facilitating its first meeting, which included a brief presentation from Nigel Roddis of BHA about the ongoing Jump Racing Consultation.

The intention is currently for HBF to have its second meeting on Monday November 23.

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Submission to Starting Price Regulatory Commission

HBF was recently created with the assistance of the BHA to represent those who bet on horseracing in Britain. This consultation submission was discussed and approved at HBF’s first meeting on 4th September 2015. HBF is a consultative body to the BHA but does not represent the views of the BHA, and the proposal in question is entirely HBF endorsed and not in any way indicative of the BHA’s stance on the question of possible SP reform.

The submission can be viewed here.