Betting rule for staff is half-hearted solution

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 15 September, 2010, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 15 September, 2010, 12:00am

The club's policy change to allow its employees to bet this season, in specific circumstances, probably belongs in the yawn, so-what category since the provisos attached to it became known.

We were already aware that those in sensitive positions would be excluded from the new freedom, along with those actually on duty. All fair enough.

But cash bets are also not allowed, employees are expected to make their bets through monitored club betting accounts, and on the day prior to racing as well. In other words, betting off the bizarre prices posted with HK$200,000 in pools that will wind up holding millions, which means having not the faintest idea of the likely odds.

Not only does the club want to see what you're betting on on your day off, they want to have a darn good laugh about you being mug enough to think you were going to get the odds displayed 24 hours ahead.

Frankly, we can't see the more enthusiastic employees of even average intelligence doing anything other than what they were forced to do before - i.e. slink about getting others to place and collect their bets on the day or bet with bookies.

Some mischievous characters have suggested the policy change was not only brought on by the view that Jockey Club employees could not relate to the issues affecting customers, since it was illegal for any such employee to be a customer, but that it was also partly to do with securing a particular new executive. But we can't accept for one minute that this executive, known to have been a keen punter prior to joining the club, would want to continue betting the same way if his bets were required to be placed the day prior through a monitored account. Especially given the kind of numbers discussed as his regular turnover.