The Japan Racing Authority (JRA) asked Betfair Australia and other betting operators to stop offering Japanese racing, following a dispute with the operator that ended Betfair’s decision to withdraw markets from its site.
The Flutter-owned operator announced in March that it would offer Japanese careers at its Australian exchange. According to the JRA, this was done without permission from the Authority.
In separate letters sent to Betfair, the JRA asked the operator to stop offering the Japanese racing market before May 28. It did so “thanks to the cooperation and support of the racing authorities and other connections in Australia and other countries.”
The JRA’s opposition to Betfair offering Japanese racing markets is because in betting exchanges, bettors have the possibility to bet against a winning horse.
The JRA expressed its position on the matter:
“The betting exchange platform that allows gambling losers or profiting from a horse that does not win is totally unacceptable from the point of view of maintaining integrity and also from the principles of sport that all competitors should aim to win.”
It further noted that:
“The JRA strongly opposes betting exchanges and urges operators not to offer exchange bets on Japanese races or to provide the service to Japanese citizens.”
According to the JRA, the operator had made a commitment not to offer bets on Japanese races when receiving a license for the first time in Australia.
“The JRA has consistently opposed this type of betting for years. When Betfair obtained a license for exchange betting in Australia in 2006, the JRA sent a letter to express our concerns about the betting exchange covering Japanese racing.” said the Japanese regulator.
It added that:
“At that time, the CEO of Betfair replied that they would not accept bets from people in Japan and that they had no plan or intention to offer a betting exchange market for Japanese racing.”
The JRA noted that the current dispute is quite similar to the one that Betfair held with the Hong Kong Jockey Club (HKJC) in 2019, after the brand offered bets on racing in Hong Kong late last year. The HKJC asked Betfair Australia to “immediately” cease its betting exchange offers.
According to the Japanese regulator:
“Riders licensed to travel in Hong Kong objected to being exposed to suspicions and innuendoes that will inevitably be associated with riding a defeated favorite that has been heavily put on a betting exchange.”
“In response to HKJC protests, Betfair decided to suspend betting exchange on Hong Kong races soon after,” added the Japanese authority. “We share the same view with The HKJC that betting exchanges pose a threat to the integrity of racing,” it said last.