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Don’t worry Nic – you can have your cornflakes back

I was at Olswang’s End of Summer Media Party last night at the kind invitation of David Zeffman, and a very jolly affair it was too despite the difficulty of getting to it because of the tube strike. I expected to see various people from the racing industry, but they’d all gone by the time I arrived. Rumours that they fled through the back door when I was spotted entering seem harsh.

I’m glad it was last night and not tonight, though, for all the transport problems. Had it come after this morning’s Paul Kelso piece (I do read other papers and journalists, honest), I would have been concerned that Nic Coward’s apparent non-appearance had been the result of his sad demise, having choked on his morning cornflakes. The following quote must have produced more steam out of his ears than I get out of my kettle.

‘The vast illicit gambling markets in India, China, the Middle East and the US, where online betting is illegal, mean that controlling attempts to corrupt sport is hugely difficult for the authorities.’

It seems that we have reached a turning point. The Pakistani betting allegations have brought both the media and government ministers to recognise that corruption problems in sport have got two thirds of Sweet FA to do with the legal gambling markets and everything to do with the illegal ones. If that’s the case, how on earth are SROC going to get money out of the betting industry  to ‘combat the integrity threat that they cause’?

But fear not, Nic: all is not yet lost. Although Paul Kelso’s article apparently relates to the Indian Sports Minister MS Gill, take heart. It’s nothing more than a typographical error.

Two years ago, I hired into my team at Betfair one Susannah Gill, who now runs Betfair’s relationships with sport. She is unmarried, and is clearly addressable as Ms. Gill. The line is quite obviously a plant. And no-one will read Nick Tofiluk of the Gambling Commission’s direct and equally robust quotes on the same subject later in the article. So you’re safe. People will still believe you if you continue to argue that it’s all Betfair’s fault.


Posted in Betfair, Regulation.

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2 Responses

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  1. SagaLout says

    I think the tide is turning. A few months back, coverage of the Higgins case would inevitably have included a lazy reference to betting exchanges but Owen Gibson’s piece in today’s Guardian carried no such mention and instead quotes Snooker’s anti-corruption man David Dougles – ‘”It’s not about one sport or another. It’s about illegal betting – they’ll go for anybody.’

  2. MD says

    I agree. I think there has been a sea-change in coverage on this. People appear suddenly to have got it. I have spoken to many more people than usual, and they all seem to have understood straight away where the harm is, and where it isn’t.

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