The 14th meeting of HBF, and its first of 2019, was held in London on 14th January. Below are some notes from that meeting covering many of the topics discussed.

2018 Survey

The 2018 HBF Survey polled over 1000 responses, which was pleasing. Analysis of the survey responses is complete and a full report will be published in February.

On the subject of data, HBF agreed:

A number of other raceday data topics were discussed and actions are ongoing.

Betting Charter

A table is to be produced to show how firms measure up to Charter compliance. HBF invites operators to come forward with any questions or challenges in relation to the Charter.


This was not available with any online firm as recently as six months ago. HBF agrees that BetVictor’s current provision is below both what they initially offered – when we were happy to publicise their work – and what we would expect. HBF has made this clear to them and they are working to address the differential between main book prices and their Guaranteed Bet market.

Nevertheless, we feel they deserve credit for being the first to ‘put their head above the parapet’. In fact, they, like other bookmakers, don’t especially fear laying to a £500 liability at the prevailing odds. Rather, it is automated sniping software users – especially in the place markets – which is making things difficult for all operators.

There are others making MBL provision online, notably Betfair Sportsbook who will lay to lose £500 in the win market on all UK/Ireland races after 10am day of race. No BOG, no each way. And skybet have also made some provision on better class UK racing from 10.30am (I think) on day of race.

Some solid progress has been made in half a year. Of course, more needs to be done, and we continue to lobby those bookmakers who will listen to us for an improved, and more widespread, MBL offering.

Starting Prices

SPRC invited HBF to submit questions to them towards the end of 2018 and have since provided feedback by correspondence – an improvement in communication. HBF retains a number of reservations in this area, and will share those with SPRC in the coming weeks.


HBF has concluded its annual review of starting price overrounds by UK racecourse, and will publish its findings in the week commencing 28th January.

In Running

HBF sees the demise of FOBTs as an opportunity to develop an in-running product for betting shops. HBF has had conversations with a number of racing stakeholders to this end. However, concerns remain around picture latency and the insurmountable advantage those benefiting from illegal streams – including from drones – currently enjoy.

Low Sun

HBF has lobbied for early notification of any possible impact of low sun at meetings likely to be affected. The position of the sun is known at any point in the calendar and, as such, HBF feels that horsemen and punters have a right to know if fences are likely to be omitted, and which ones.

HBF Membership Refresh

Three new members will be sought during 2019, and readers of these updates are encouraged to consider making an application if they feel they can contribute to the Forum. More details will follow in the coming months.

Next meeting

Monday 29 April 2019.

If you have any questions or topics you would like to see the HBF discuss at future meetings please contact us at


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