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Monday, 17 December, 2018

Ffos Las warns bookies after they 'took advantage of holiday-type crowd'

Ffos Las: scene of bookmaker daylight robbery last year
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Bookmakers at Ffos Las have been told by the racecourse to play fair with racegoers in a letter from the racecourse after the Horseracing Bettors Forum last week highlighted their unacceptable margins at meetings last year.

The Welsh track's big ladies' day last August saw bookmakers price up races with massive overrounds for small-field races, up to 140 per cent in one race.

The HBF suggested Ffos Las may be a racecourse “to steer clear of until an explanation – not to mention a solution – has been provided”.

Ffos Las raced on Sunday with a dozen bookmakers in front of a 1,200 crowd and the SPs showed a healthier set of overrounds in line with expectations.

The course management has been quick to react to the report and pointed out that there is a split betting ring at the course, with a line of bookmakers around the parade ring as well as in the traditional position in front of the grandstand.

It was not blaming this arrangement for the situation but felt it might have impacted on the returned SPs with better prices possibly on offer away from the books that made up the SP return.

In hot water: bookmakers at Ffos Las have been cautioned by the racecourse

Ffos Las director Mark Kershaw said: "We delivered a letter to all the pitch holders who were present on Sunday and have written to the two others who weren't.

"It is clear last August certain bookmakers took advantage of our holiday-type crowd. It was frustrating for the racecourse who don't want anyone to be short-changed.

"That was not acceptable as we want everyone at the course to play their part in an enjoyable racecourse experience.

"Everyone has got to play their part in getting people to go racing.

"I know it is hard in the betting ring competing but if racegoers aren't treated fairly they will bet elsewhere, encouraged to go on their phone or into the racecourse's betting shop."

Ffos Las has also increased prize-money for 2018 in a bid to attract larger fields.

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Everyone has got to play their part in getting people to go racing

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