Three Global Experts Join the ARF Council on Anti-Illegal Betting & Related Financial Crime

Three Global Experts Join the ARF Council on Anti-Illegal Betting & Related Financial Crime

Three Global Experts Join the ARF Council on Anti-Illegal Betting & Related Financial Crime

The Asian Racing Federation’s Council on Anti-Illegal Betting & Related Financial Crime announced today that it has expanded its membership to include three global experts to support integrity in racing and other sports:

  • Ms. Aahna Mehrotra, Partner TMT Law Practice, Pune, India;
  • Professor Steve Cornelius, Head of the Department of Private Law and Director of the Centre for Intellectual Property Law, University of Pretoria; and
  • Mr. Pim Verschuuren, Associate Research Fellow, University of Lausanne.

All three have vast experience in international sports integrity.

Ms. Mehrotra has a Master’s in Entertainment and Sports Law from UCLA, School of Law, and also has a Certificate in Sports Law from the Sports Law and Policy Centre, Italy. She is Vice Chairperson on the National Anti-Doping Disciplinary Panel, a member of the Arbitrational Tribunal constituted by Football Delhi, a member of the Governing Council of Ultimate Table Tennis. She is also a former cricketer for the India Under-19 women’s team and played several other sports at the state level.

Professor Cornelius has served on the Disciplinary Tribunal of the International Association of Athletics Federations. He is a Member of the Independent Doping Hearing Panel of the South African Institute for Drug-free Sport, and an Independent director on the board of Cricket South Africa. He has served on the Disciplinary Tribunal of the International Association of Athletics Federations, as well as serving a term as independent non-executive director on the board of Cricket South Africa where he chaired the Social and Ethics Committee and was acting chair of the Finance Committee for a period of six months.

Mr. Verschuuren is currently engaged in analysing the implementation of whistleblowing policies within the sports sector. He has co-authored two reports on Sports betting, corruption and money laundering, and wrote a chapter on 'organised crime and sports' in the latest UNODC report[1].He ran a European Commission program of seminars in 23 EU countries to raise awareness among national sports administrators on the threat of match-fixing, and
directed the ‘Preventing criminal risks linked to the sports betting market’, focused on the integrity of the betting market in itself.

With the addition of these new members, the Council now comprises 18 experts in sports and racing integrity, law enforcement, academia, and intergovernmental relations.

Martin Purbrick, chairperson of the ARF Council, said: “The three new members of the Council are thought leaders in sports integrity and will add to our work on how to protect racing and other sports from illegal betting. Aahna is a highly accomplished legal counsel, a former cricket player at national level, and brings great insight into the problems of illegal betting affecting racing and other sports in India. Steve is one of the leading sports law scholars in South Africa and has contributed directly to sports integrity with his work on anti-doping as well as disciplinary matters in athletics and ethics in cricket. Pim is one of the most talented young sports scholars in Europe and has made a name for himself leading work on sports betting, corruption and money laundering. The ARF Council members make up one of the world’s leading think tanks on integrity in racing and other sports, and I am very proud to work with them all.”

[1] UNOC Global Report on Corruption in Sport

About the ARF and the ARF Council

The ARF is a regional federation comprising 27 national racing authorities and racing-related organisations from across Asia, Oceania, Africa and the Middle East.

The ARF is formally linked with the International Federation of Horseracing Authorities (IFHA). Australia, Hong Kong and Japan have permanent seats representing the ARF on the Executive Council of the IFHA, and the ARF also nominates one of two rotational positions on the IFHA Executive Council.

The ARF and its members believe in the positive economic and social value of horse racing to society, which is illustrated by the following contributions from its members:

  • Thoroughbred racing in Asian Racing Federation member jurisdictions is responsible for generating more than US$26.9 billion in value added contribution to the economy. In many jurisdictions, this economic impact is most heavily driven by wagering revenues. However, the investment by the breeding and training sectors is also a large driver of direct and indirect impacts.
  • This economic activity is responsible for supporting 570,546 jobs across Asian Racing Federation member jurisdictions. A sizeable part of this impact occurs in areas where individuals with particular skills are employed to pursue their interests in horseracing and equine welfare.
  • The employment supported by the thoroughbred racing industry is responsible for generating more than US$14.5 billion in household income.
  • In 2018/19, Asian Racing Federation member jurisdictions generated a combined total of more than US$6.9 billion in taxation revenue for Governments.

Horse racing is a participation sport with riders who are exceptional participant athletes. Racing as a sport brings positive social outcomes, which are education (of participants), employment, economic productivity, and public participation (of large audiences across societies where racing takes place).

The above contributions made by ARF members result in a wide range of positive societal benefits. These are the result of a sport operating within clear legal boundaries and supporting legal licensed betting products that are part of the entertainment around racing. This legal basis is a key part of our belief in the importance of a positive economic and social contribution by the sport of horse racing.

The ARF Council on Anti-Illegal Betting and Related Financial Crime was established in 2017[1]to foster and enhance international co-operation among horse racing operators, regulators, intergovernmental organisations, government agencies and NGOs in order to better combat the threat of illegal betting and other financial crime risks to horse racing integrity in particular, and sport in general.

[1] Formerly known as the Anti-Illegal Betting Task Force; the ARF Executive Council approved the change of name at its meeting on 30 September2020.

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