Letters to the Editor

It's the punters, stupid

Friday, February 15, 2019

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Dear Editor,

The following is an open letter to the Jamaica Racing Commission (JRC) and Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL):

The JRC governs the rules and running of horse racing at Caymanas Park and SVREL promotes these races.

Over the past few years there has been a lot of hue and cry about saving and improving the product of horse racing.

While there are myriad things which deserve urgent attention, I would like to point out to both august bodies that it's the punters, stupid.

We are all aware of the talk that punters are the lifeblood of the sport. However, this seems lost on the powers that be.

No amount of changing of CEOs will have a lasting impact if the punters continue to be ignored.

Let's look at two cases, one involving each entity.

Going on two months a jockey was found with an electrical device, popularly called a battery, prior to the running of a race. The JRC promised a diligent investigation after which a report would be made public.

It's not rocket science for it to take two months to find out how the rider came to have the device in his possession — unless the trail leads to someone deemed untouchable.

The punter has enough 'work' to do reading the form of horses to be beaten by a rider using a battery.

Perhaps, the JRC ought to seek assistance from Sherlock Holmes.

In the case of SVREL, it is down right ridiculous for a punter to wager $50 on a horse to win. That horse duly wins and the payout to the punter is $50. A way must be found for even $5 or $10 to be added to the punter's stake.

After all, if that punter bets $50 on the cash pot number (which is run by SVREL sister company Supreme Ventures) for race horse, which is 18, his return is in the region of $1,300.

Where is the incentive to bet on a horse race given this situation?

Frustrated Punter

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