The Devil Wears a Bowler

I remember speaking with a few industry types several years ago - it might have been close to six or seven. The conversation centered around Betfair and a few other offshores. Generally, the conversation was "these places have a market of bettors that are playing sports and some racing. Why would the business not do a deal with them to try and get a piece of the action?" Fishing in a stocked pond is always preferred.

Finally, several years later this is made a reality. Betfair and the Breeders Cup have struck a deal where the exchange portion of betting the Breeders Cup will be taxed at 10% gross profits, and supply the BC with some revenue.

In addition, because Betfair bought TVG, now punters from dozens of countries who could never play an exotic bet before, can do so. They will be able to bet right into the pools.

Opening markets has been a theme of this blog since we started, and we think it is great news that it is finally (albeit slowly) happening.

It will not be long however, just like in Australia years ago, where such a simple and common-sense deal will be attacked. In fact, the comments on the Paulick Report show that - the knee-jerk "what about integrity, or we don't get enough money" comments are already there.

In Australia when Betfair was approved a few years ago the fangs came out, just like that. The pools would crumble, integrity would suffer, money for purses will evaporate - all the common misconceptions were yelled from the rooftops from racing insiders. What happened? Revenues to horse racing went up, not down. “None of the issues of concern before Betfair became licensed over here have come to fruition." said the Chief racing steward in the Hobart Record.

Change in racing is tough. Even when a company wants to open up your market to millions of people worldwide to grow your sport, there is pushback. And this occurs no matter what the facts say.

The devil does not wear a bowler, he wears a status-quo suit.

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