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Bad eggs smear the industry

An Irish bookmaker has done a runner owing thousands after doing his arse at the recent Listowel racing festival.

Bookmaker 'on the run' after leaving Listowel owing 1000s of euros

Bookmaker Ger ‘Dixie’ Dalton is believed to have left Listowel last Saturday owing punters thousands of euros.

Horse Racing Ireland officials have been trying to contact him and have written letters but it seems Dalton is nowhere to be found after ”running out of money and unable to pay out on winning bets”.

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This may not of been a one off incident with sources suggesting that a fellow bookmaker had threatened to object to Dalton’s licence following an incident at a Clonmel coursing meeting were there was a major issue but the matter was later resolved.


To the bookie's credit, he did at least report a cashflow problem to the levy office (bookmakers' supervisor) on the course before fleeing. However, the fact this guy has had issues before will leave a very sour taste in the mouths of punters who have been stiffed. Do regulations need to be tighter? I know in Adelaide, Australia, that to field on a major racing carnival an on-course bookmaker needs to lodge a security bond of $25k. The money is fully refundable, it is specifically there to protect punters if a bookie goes bust. That is on top of the co-operative scheme where all bookmakers pay into a fund which is used to cover a failed bookmaker's debts. That is rarely used because the system is so tight, and usually only when a credit bookmaker gets caught out by a few significant non-payers (most on-course business these days is conducted over the phone rather than cash).

Do such measures exist in the UK and Ireland? They might, but I can't say I've ever heard of them. Yes, it's an additional burden on on-course bookies to bring in tighter regulation, but if it strengthens the credibility of the trade and creates a barrier of entry which puts it above rogues, then surely it is a good thing....

UPDATE

From today's Racing Post:


A Horse Racing Ireland spokesman said "We have extensive powers where we can suspend a bookmaker from betting in the ring or revoke a bookmaking licence when there is a failure to pay out on bets."


Again, a deluded racing official in Ireland. There is NO power whatsoever there at all. The guy has bolted - it's more than likely he won't becoming back because he has gone bust. Where is the protection for punters - the very people who fund the sport and the jobsworths that come up with such lame regulations and statements like these??? Any service which holds money for others - banks, financial services, bookmakers etc - should face tight regulation and have to lodge significant security bonds to protect the customers and the reputation of the industry in the case of default. Perception is everything. Every barrier to entry which keeps out rogues is valuable.

Once again, Irish racing shafts punters. Some previous blog posts about their inadequate efforts:

Why does Irish racing even bother with stewards and starters?

Need any more evidence that racing stewards are blind?

It's a very basic principle of business. You must look after the interests of the customers to keep a business sustainable. The punters ARE the business - without them, there is no money. Owners, trainers, horses, bookies etc all play their part, but they put on the show, it is the punters and ONLY the punters that fund it. So why the hell are HRI allowed to get away with not protecting punters again and again?

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