GIBRALTAR HORSE RACE RULING UNDER REVIEW
12th October, 2011 at 04:10:51
Gibraltar's Supreme Court is taking another look at Betfred's £ 823,272 issue
readers will recall earlier reports on the payout tussle between Gibraltar-licensed online bookie Betfred
(the recent purchasers of The Tote
) and five UK punters it accused of possibly collusive betting with the Irish trainer and gambler Barney Curley, withholding some £ 823,272 with the support of the licensing authority.
The Belfast Telegraph reports that those winnings form part of a multi-million pound sterling coup allegedly organised by Curley on May 10 last year when his associates placed hundreds of accumulator bets on four horses running in four separate modest races.
In the UK, the bookies paid out on the wins, including Betfred. However, Betfred's online division, apparently on the advice of the Gibraltar Gambling Commission, withheld winnings due to the five punters pending an investigation of suspicions that Curley was betting by proxy through his accomplices.
Legal representatives for the five punters sought a judicial review of the decision by the Gibraltar Supreme Court, which attracted substantial numbers of interested parties this week but has not yet released its findings.
The review will no doubt reference an investigation in the UK by the British Horseracing Authority, which reportedly found nothing apparently found untoward in the Curley coup. In addition, the Independent Betting Arbitration Service directed operators in the UK and in another offshore location, Alderney, to pay out winnings.
The Gibraltar regulator countered these with claims that its investigation had been the only one that has been "meaningful and proportionate. Nevertheless, the regulator then seemed to relent, agreeing that the funds could be released, an option that Betfred reportedly declined.
In the evolving process, events have taken a decidedly nasty turn, with the five punters engaging private investigators to look into the affairs of the head regulator, Phill Brear.
These investigators claimed that Brear met with Betfred's lawyers, Hassans, a meeting which, the punters claim, supports their allegation that confidentiality may have been breached; that Brear was seeking to support the gaming operator; and that, in his role as a government official, he is not impartial.
Related News Tags: Horseracing, Gibraltar, Betfred