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This One Small Ruling Explains Why Betting "Integrity Fees" Are a Mugs Game

OMG! A trainer bet her own horse (hat tip to Peter) --
  • BONGIORNO, JENNIFER L MANALAPAN, NJ YOB 1990 Fhld on 11/18/2017 FINED: $350 IMPROPER BET Ms. Bongiorno placed 3 wagers to win on horses thet were trained by her.Nov. 18, ’18, $2.01 was wagered to MOONLIGHT RANSOM in the 4th race at Freehold Raceway. Jan. 12, ’18, $10.04 was wagered on ALGEBRA in the 2nd race at Freehold Raceway. Feb. 3, ’18, $10.01 was wagered on at Freehold Raceway. Although these wagers were made in compliance with N.J.A.C 13:71-2.4, the wagers were placed through Betfairs Exchange wagering platform. N.J.A.C 13:74c-4.10(C) prohibits trainers from wagering through the exchange on races in which they have horses competing. For the first violation, Ms. Bongiorno received a formal Warning. As a result of the second violation Ms. Bongiorno received a fine of $100. As a result of the third violation, Ms. Bongiorno received a fine of $250.
Now, Jenn isn't exactly a master criminal, unless you think her betting $10 on her own horse is a crime (it isn't). The difference is, it was on an exchange, and horse racing thinks that's a different kettle of fish. She wasn't "in compliance" and received a small fine.

How did the authorities find out about this terrible, awful crime? Because at Betfair there's a paper trail, unlike in the parimutuel pools where trainers have been making bets (some on not their own horses no doubt) for over 100 years. Legal wagering over the internet brings this out of the shadows and into the spotlight. It's the way progress and technology works.

The sports leagues are currently asking for a whopping "integrity fee" from wagering providers (and like most business taxes, the consumer will pay, not William Hill) because they're worried about corruption. I believe that this is always been a cash grab, not about integrity because the market and its systems ensure such a fee is not needed. And I think the above fine proves it.

For over a hundred years sports betting was done in the dark corners - offshore, at a local bar, through websites in the far east - and there was never a paper trail. There was no way to find out who was betting what, through who. Now, with wagering legal, there is. Logically, sports leagues should probably be paying the books a fee for introducing integrity into the system, not the other way around.


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