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Kevin Smith

Ireland Bars Jockeys from Betting on Horses

22 July 2003

Following the lead of the U.K. Jockey Club, racing officials in Ireland confirmed today they will implement rules barring many of its associated workers from betting on horses.

Current regulations allow Tote staff, which are Horse Racing Ireland (HRI) employees, to bet although not at meetings at which they're working. There are no other restrictions on betting by other HRI employees.

The purpose of the new regulations, according to Chief Executive Brian Kavanagh, is to streamline rules for employees who have come to the HRI after working for other agencies that eventually merged into the same operation.

"We have staff that worked for the old Racing Board (closed in 1994), some who joined from the Irish Horseracing Authority (closed in 2001) and others who came to us from the Turf Club," Kavanag said. "All are under different terms, conditions and codes of practice."

As part of the process, Kavanagh asked the HRI's new human resources manager, Frank Timmins, to bring together all the various betting rules that employees now have to abide by and create a procedure manual that would include a list of do's and don'ts that would apply to all HRI employees.

Kavanagh said he expects more workers to be prohibited from betting on races, but predicting that not all employees will be banned.

"One of the areas is the issue of betting and, while the specifics have still to be worked out, my intention is that anyone directly involved in betting operations should not be allowed to bet," he said. "But other employees will be allowed to do so. It would be unfair to stop them."

The HRI board is schedule to meet in Galway next week, at which time the betting issue will be discussed at length.

The HRI announcement comes one day after the U.K. Jockey Club said it will ban jockeys, trainers, owners and other stable workers from laying horses to lose on betting exchanges.

Ireland Bars Jockeys from Betting on Horses is republished from
Kevin Smith
Kevin Smith