From June 4th ( Derby weekend ) a new customer charter will come into force which will encourage racecourse bookmakers to offer a standard set of each-way betting terms.
The Racing For Change Committee enjoyed success recently with their " racing free week " and next on their agenda is to make the betting ring a fairer place to have a wager.
For many years a number of racecourse bookmakers have regularly offered each-way terms that are little short of daylight robbery.
1/5 odds the first 3 in handicaps with 20+ runners, 1/6 or 1/7 the odds a place when a race has a short priced favourite, and 1/5 odds the first two when there are 5 to 7 runners, are just a few examples of punters being taken for a ride when visiting the racecourse betting ring.
Bookmakers who sign up to the voluntary charter will have to agree to bet to each-way terms no worse than those published by the Tattersalls Committee.
RFC development director Nigel Roddis is keen to encourage more people to go racing more often and believes each-way betting terms are a major issue saying: " The variety of each-way terms on the racecourse has been high on the list of issues raised by regular racegoers and the charter is designed to address the matter.
" I hope the gold flag will be seen as a positive step by both punters and the on-course bookmakers."
According to leading rails bookmaker Geoff Banks " The reputation of the whole betting ring has been damaged by a small number of bookmakers offering inferior each-way terms."
Colouful layer Barry Dennis is in favour of the charter but also pessamistic regarding its success saying: " I’ts annoying for us bookmakers who offer traditional terms all the time to see some board beside us offering a seventh of the odds and still doing business.
" I would be willing to adopt it, but not with the feeling that this is the solution to it all."
RFC has to be applauded for trying to clean up the betting ring, but surely this scheme should be made compulsory and not voluntary.
If some bookmakers are not willing to tow the line and offer standard each-way terms then they should be made to bet win only. The choice is theirs!