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angle-left Announcement for HorseRacing code

Announcement for HorseRacing code

Horse Races SA, an OPAP Group subsidiary, expresses its absolute disagreement with the draft Horse Racing Code, which has been drafted by the management of the Greek Jockey Club (JC), in order to be put to discussion in today’s meeting of its board. The company has informed the Ministry of Culture & Sport and the Hellenic Republic Asset Development Fund (HRADF), as this development is damaging the conducting of horse racing activity in accordance with the law as well as its integrity.

The new multi-page draft Horse Racing Code which was sent by the JC management to Horse Races SA and the horseracing community on April 11, 2018, promotes changes that contradict and go beyond the effective legal framework (Laws 4172/2013 and 4338/2015). In addition, it does not fully comply with the explicit provision of the law, according to which, JC’s role and jurisdictions solely concern control, supervision and penalty enforcement, and the conducting of horse races is assigned solely to the Horse Race Body, i.e. Horse Races SA, in accordance with the Concession Agreement which was ratified via Law 4338/2015. In addition to a series of uncertainties, shortcomings and contradictions, the draft includes provisions explicitly abolished by the effective law, and contradictory to best practices applied in developed horse racing markets, such as the UK and France.

Unfortunately, the new draft Horse Racing Code being promoted, is yet another negative development followed by actions of the new JC management, which proceeded to pretentious consultation with the company.

Lately, Horse Races SA has been struggling, almost daily, not only for the revival of Greek horse races, but also for the application of the law and common sense. Suffice to say that the racing community has witnessed significant problems, omissions and failures by the JC, which go against international racing standards and affect the smooth organization and conduct of horse races. These culminated in the fact that Horse Races SA was forced to take the extremely unpleasant decision not to conduct the horseracing meeting of 8 December 2017. 

Due to all the above, Horse Races SA addressed to the State, sending a detailed letter, which presents the exact facts, as serious dysfunctions and problems are created to the exercise of the company’s right to organize horse races in a smooth, lawful and accordant with the Concession Agreement manner.

For two years now, Horse Races SA has managed – with great struggle and financial cost – to give a fresh prospect to horse races, making moves and investments that go beyond its contractual obligations. For example, although it was not required to conduct horse races within the first two years of the concession, the company proceeded immediately to their organization, while prizes were double to what is foreseen in the concession agreement. In addition, to address the problem of a downsizing number of horses, it brought horses from abroad, providing financial facilitations to prospective owners for their acquisition.

In this context, Horse Races SA explicitly states that it will take any necessary measure to protect its significant investment, against any action that negatively affects in practice the organizing of Greek horse races, placing their future at risk and leading the privatization of horseracing to failure with mathematic certainty, to the detriment of Horse Races SA and the many members of the horseracing community.

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