The following is the 11th of a 12-part series on wagering insecurity in American racing from the think tank the Thoroughbred Idea Foundation.
A growing firm in the sports integrity business approached a major racing operator in 2017.
“They told us better integrity does not help us bring in more customers and their main focus right now is on growing the customer base.”
The reality is different in almost every other major racing jurisdiction. Integrity oversight is a necessity to ensure acceptance and participation. Customer and stakeholder confidence is paramount.
Last weekend at Pimlico, the disparity between America's existing, substandard practices and the rest of the developed racing world could not have been clearer. Two races, held within hours of each other, served to highlight the gap.
After 10 installments, the “Wagering Insecurity” series has reached its recommendations phase.
The passage of the omnibus spending bill which created the Horseracing Integrity & Safety Authority (HISA) was undoubtedly a massive step for American racing.
But just how big could it be? Is it clear how broad its possible powers over the sport could be, in a positive way for horseplayers and all well-intentioned stakeholders, upon full implementation?
HISA must lead on matters pertaining to wagering oversight while also adopting modern, transparent best practices that elevate American racing to join that of the rest of the developed racing world.
The recommendations across this series are hardly novel. Reinvention of the proverbial wheel is not required. That's a good thing!