As many of you will know, Betfair launched and subsequently pulled Hong Kong racing from the exchange in September 2019, and has today made the decision to pull Japanese racing.
Our ambition has always been to offer you, the punters, the best possible wagering experience, and the ability to bet at better odds, to back, lay, and trade; all on our safe and trusted betting exchange. In doing so we have always sought to do the right thing by racing bodies – so that a reasonable fee is paid by Betfair, and very importantly, any racing body and its stewards can access betting records relating to their racing events.
We launched Japanese racing on the exchange in March 2020 in order to continue meeting the needs and interests of our customers and punters during what was a time of unprecedented uncertainty for racing, and we know many punters love the product.
Unfortunately, the HKJC and JRA still have a view that a betting exchange poses risk to the integrity of a race given “a customer can back a horse to lose” (Lay).
Although we strongly disagree with the HKJC and JRA, for reasons expanded on below, and whilst we have never been in breach of any legal or regulatory requirements in offering these markets, we have made the difficult decision to pull these markets.
The JRA had threatened to pull their vision from all channels currently allowing Australian punters to access their racing, as well as potentially restricting horses from racing in Australia. Given the disruption this would pose to Australian punters and Australian racing bodies alike, as fans of racing, we have ceased offering markets on the exchange.