Asian Online Betting Exchanges Could Be Challenged By Horse Racing Industry

With better offers and more flexibility, Cagayan licensed operations allegedly pose a threat to the traditional industry

Peer to peer online betting exchanges licensed in Cagayan and based in the special economic zone are creating headaches for the traditionally competition-averse horse race betting business and could face growing challenges, reports the publication AGTech Brief.

The traditional industry views interlopers like Citibet and AAStar as a competitive element that dilutes their turnover, and claims that they are a threat to industry integrity and contribute nothing in taxes or fees.

Because the exchanges lack transparency, do not work with the authorities or provide account information for use in inquiries and reviews, they are accused of endangering the integrity of the business.

The Asian Racing Federation is mulling ways in which that situation might be changed, but its secretary general, Andrew Harding, acknowledges that it will take time and a systematic strategy.

The other side of the coin, according to betting exchange supporters, is that the peer to peer exchanges offer a better deal to the punter, and the real reason for concern in the traditional industry is based on a fear of competition.

AGTech says the extent to which the Asian online betting exchanges have penetrated the market is difficult to gauge, given their generally opaque nature, but it estimates from available information and expert opinions that their turnover is now greater than that achieved by betting exchanges in the West like Betfair, and possibly exceeds the legal totalisator pools in Hong Kong and Singapore (it points out that the Hong Kong Jockey Club last season boasted a record betting handle of more than HK$100 billion).

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