Flying Close To The Edge: Gambling Drone Operators Fighting For Their Rights In UK

Self-described professional gambler Michael McCool is engaged in an ongoing battle with racing authorities over his use of drones to gain an advantage on in-race betting on horse racing, reports The footage of races used in betting shops has a built in delay due to broadcast technology, so McCool’s ability to reduce that latency gives him an advantage of up to three seconds over most bettors.

Racecourse operators are concerned about both the safety of the race participants and the integrity of the betting product.

“There is no way to know where, and by whom, such broadcasts are being used,” a spokesperson for Arena Racing Company, which runs 16 horse racing courses and two greyhound tracks, told Wired. “In an environment when gambling and gambling controls are under significant scrutiny, it cannot be right that these operators dronehave such a simple way to exploit the loopholes and potentially expose the vulnerable to unlicensed routes to betting. Furthermore, it creates significant concern for all sports and live events over their ability to stage events and control their own business, into which they will have invested millions of pounds.”

The UK’s Gambling Commission examined in-race wagering in September of 2016, but determined it wasn’t an institutional problem for the industry: “In-play betting does not appear to generate specific additional risks to the licensing objectives as long as betting customers are sufficiently aware of their position and the respective positions of other players and the betting operators. We do not consider it necessary to intervene to prevent some players using technology to gain an advantage in terms of speed of information, provided it is clear to all players that this can be done.”

McCool argues that the advantage he gains via drone footage is part of what makes him a professional gambler.

“It’s all about what edge you can get,” McCool told Wired. “You need an edge. You can’t class yourself as a professional gambler if you’ve not got an edge. If you haven’t got an edge, you’re just a gambler; somebody betting on bingo and Peruvian netball.”


The post Flying Close To The Edge: Gambling Drone Operators Fighting For Their Rights In UK appeared first on Horse Racing News | Paulick Report.

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