Asian countries to fight offshore horse racing wagers
By paul
The racing associations of Hong Kong, Japan, Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Turkey, India and Singapore have signed a 'Good Neighbour Policy Agreement', agreeing to work together to stop cross-border wagers.

The eight signatories to the Good Neighbour Policy, promise not to provide, advertise or solicit wagering on racing to each other's residents without permission.

'Armed with the latest information technologies, unauthorized and illegal gambling has spread across the globe. It knows no borders. Every country and every community is a target,' said Lawrence Wong, chairman of the Asian Racing Federation, and CEO of Hong Kong Jockey Club.

Participants will also campaign to raise public and government awareness of the effects of unauthorized betting on tax revenues, jobs, and charity organisations.

'It's the lifeline of the racing industry. Because racing has to rely on betting. Without betting as an income, the racing industry will die,' Wong said.

'Gambling is not a birth right. People are allowed to gamble by governments who believe that it's in the interest to raise taxes or fund the industry. So the people who are gambling illegally aren't paying revenue to the government or to the racing industry,' said Bob Charley, chairman of the Australian Racing Board.

And following this new agreement, the next step, the racing authorities say, is to push for anti-more gambling legislation, making it even harder for unauthorized bookmakers to operate.

Betting on horse races is big business in Asia. In Hong Kong, almost 45,000 people attended the opening day of the new racing season this past weekend, and betting turnover for the day topped US$110 million.

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