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Big Bettor Challenges Kentucky Integrity

Thursday, 2nd October 2008

One of the US's biggest punters Mike Maloney (who bets "about US$10 million a year on races from his Keeneland Race Course base") told Kentucky Governor Steve Beshear's Task Force On The Future Of Horse Racing that "the state could increase both the number of horse-players who wager on the state's races & the amount of money wagered by taking the lead on integrity issues," reported thoroughbredtimes.com. Maloney (who serves on a Task Force committee looking into integrity issues like pari-mutuel pool security, equine drug testing standards & enforcement, and backstretch security) attended a US National Thoroughbred Racing Association Marketing Summit in September & was "disappointed to hear little mention of improving integrity". He believes such an initiative "would increase handle more than any idea discussed at that summit, which included ideas such as added emphasis on televised Saturday racing & creating 'horse racing standings'." Maloney summed up: "I look at 2 things: make Kentucky a leader in regulation & oversight, and make Kentucky more friendly with our simulcast signals. That would be the best marketing we could do. I can tell you, and I don't know if the perception is fair or not, but Kentucky is not looked at as a leader in integrity because it has had some lax drug rules in the past." Churchill Downs President Steve Sexton (who serves on the Task Force) said with players like Maloney placing importance on the issue, it is clear action is needed, noting: "We had better be listening because they're our livelihood. Now is the time to act. If our customers are telling us this, we better act on it."

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