Monday, October 03, 2005Contact: Maurits Bruggink
Horseracing industry unveils trust mark to fight unauthorized online betting

In its battle against unauthorized betting over the internet, the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA) today unveiled its Racing Trust Mark for use by authorized online betting operators. Earlier today, the mark was adopted in Paris by the racing authorities of over 50 countries.

IFHA Racing Trust Mark Use of the Racing Trust Mark on a betting operator’s website will provide clear evidence to the public, regulators, law enforcement agencies and financial community that the operator is conforming to internationally-recognised standards regarding the use of the horseracing product. Several prominent organizations in the international Thoroughbred community have already shown interest in the mark, which will enable them to differentiate themselves from pirating betting operations.

IFHA President Louis Romanet explains: “Betting operators can apply to us for the mark if they agree to the two IFHA principles: 1) gambling services should not be offered to residents of countries where this is illegal and; 2) no one should use the racing product for betting purposes without the express consent of the race organiser or its rights holder.

Larry Wong, Chief Executive of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, adds: “ This is a significant international initiative to directly tackle the growing number of illegal betting operators who prey on our industry. We now have a tool to distinguish the good guys from the bad.

Bertrand Bélinguier of French PMU says: “ The Racing Trust Mark will reflect the considerable investment made by racing to organise racing and betting and therefore represents the commitment to the principles of fair trading in racing.

Alan Marzelli of The Jockey Club (U.S.) agrees, but adds: “ We have to be realistic. This mark alone is not going to end illegal online betting and we will never be able to fully eradicate it. Many different actions are necessary to minimize illegal online betting.

This is supported by Maurits Bruggink, IFHA Executive Director: “ In addition to the Racing Trust Mark initiative, we have also started talks with international bodies, such as the World Trade Organisation, to stop free trade in betting and the World Intellectual Property rights Organisation to enact the necessary intellectual property rights legislation to protect our racing data and images. Technically, it is very simple for betting sites to block transactions from countries where their activity is illegal. Some authorities have already obliged websites to use this technology. We want more of that and The Racing Trust Mark will help.

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