Jockey Club v Carter & Others
Court: Disciplinary Panel of the Jockey Club
Date of judgment: 4 Oct 2005
Summary: Disciplinary proceedings - jockey - betting ring - heavy betting that jockey's ride would lose - phone records showing links between gamblers and jockey - breaches of Rules of Racing - penalty
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Instructing Solicitors: Charles Russell
In 2003 the online gambling organisation Betfair discovered unusual betting patterns on 8 races in which a jockey, GC, had participated. On each occasion one or more of 5 Betfair accounts had been used to bet that GC’s ride would lose, and that is what had occurred. One of the Betfair accounts belonged to CC, a semi-professional gambler who had been ‘warned off’, or banned from racing by the Jockey Club (JC) earlier in 2003, for buying inside information from jockeys. The JC investigated and its Disciplinary Panel held an inquiry into whether GC had passed inside information to CC that his ride would lose, and other matters. The conduct of CC and 5 other individuals was inquired into at the same time. The Jockey Club relied heavily on records, obtained from third parties via court orders, of phone and internet communications (1) between GC and CC (2) between the gamblers themselves and (3) between some of them and Betfair.
Did the evidence establish (1) the corrupt betting ring that was alleged? (2) the involvement of each of those alleged to have played a part? (3) that GC had lied, and that he and one of the gamblers had knowingly associated with a warned off person? If so, what penalties were appropriate?
The allegations were made out against GC, CC and all but one of the others said to be involved. The betting patterns, and the pattern of communications, coupled with GC’s lies and CC’s previous conduct satisfied the Panel that inside information had been passed and used. The way GC had ridden on the 8 occasions was consistent with that. The inference that money or other reward had changed hands between CC and GC was clear, given CC’s admitted habit of doing this and the improbability that GC would give information charitably. GC was disqualified for 5 years and fined £2,000 for his lies. CC and 4 others were excluded indefinitely from racing premises. The evidence against the other individual was insufficient.
As the Panel recorded in its reasons, the phone records and other documents which the JC obtained from third parties via High Court disclosure orders were critical to establishing the contact with CC which GC had denied, and the existence of the betting ring. In Jockey Club v Carphone Warehouse and 3 other applications the JC had relied on the Norwich Pharmacal jurisdiction.