|The often maligned and recently retired chairman of the British Horseracing Board, Peter Savill, spoke out on the weekend on the controversy surrounding online betting exchanges and the fear that they will lead to increased corruption within racing. Whilst he is not a supporter of online betting sites, Savill does believe he has a solution to the worry about inviting corruption with horse racing, that does not focus on the limiting or adapting of such sites and the way the operate. In his opinion the solution lies in the proposed introduction of bands for racing. Similar to the system used in the football leagues in England, the banding system would create different divisions of horse racing- with prize money depreciating significantly in the lower divisions. Savill considers this suggested change to the organisation of racing holding the key to dissuading corruption- by providing a greater incentive to win and stay in the premier division of racing with the highest prize money awards available. |
Although Savill does state a strong opposition to the exchanges which have sparked this increased concern about the integrity of the sport, he does in his statements temper this opposition with a pragmatic view of the nature of corruption, saying that the risk lies merely in increased opportunity for those already prone to give in to temptation, rather than laying the responsibility for the creation of corruption at the door of online exchanges.
“The issue is largely about the betting exchanges. I'm fundamentally opposed to the concept of betting exchanges because I think sport is about winning. To have people cheering on a racecourse because a horse is getting beaten is anathema to the whole concept of what sport is about.
'Of course, corruption has been going on for years. There were 8,500 bookmakers who want horses to lose. When you then enfranchise the whole world, you are going to increase the opportunity for corruption to happen, encourage people to make it happen. Intellectually, I find it hard to get away from the fact it's going to be harder to police the sport and keep it clean.'