Bolton Fined For Landmark Betting Breach

DARWIN Cup winning trainer Steele Bolton has been fined by the Northern Territory Racing Commission for betting against a greyhound he trains.

Adam Dobbin

14 August 2020

TWO-time Darwin Cup winning trainer Steele Bolton has been fined $3,925 by the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) for betting against a greyhound he trains.

Understood to be the first trainer to be charged under the rule in any jurisdiction, a contrite Bolton pleaded guilty to a charge of breaching Greyhound Australasia Rule 87 which prohibits a trainer betting on a greyhound they train to lose an event.

The landmark decision has the capacity to open up a can of worms given the ability to lay greyhounds on Betfair has been in vogue for years.

The charge emanates from a race at Darwin on May 13, 2020 where Bolton had $1.50 favourite Bolo engaged in box two.

NTRC commissioners asserted that Bolton placed a ‘field v favourite’ wager on the race, meaning the bet was successful on the proviso that Bolo didn’t win the event. He finished sixth.

Bolton had two other runners in the race – winner Nak Factor and Cawbourne Sasha which was unplaced.

“Stewards noted that a potential breach of the Greyhound Australasia Rules had occurred, as Mr Bolton had bet against his runner by virtue of his wager for the field to beat the favourite,” the NTRC statement read.

“Due to the nature of the allegation, and the fact that no other greyhound jurisdiction had laid a charge of this nature before, the matter was referred to the Commission as the Controlling Body, who determined to hold an inquiry into the matter.

“The inquiry was held on Tuesday, 11 August 2020, with Mr Bolton present.

“After taking evidence from NT greyhound Stewards, the Commission charged Bolton with a breach of Greyhounds Australasia Rule R87. Mr Bolton pleaded guilty to the breach and was fined $3,925.”

Speaking to the Greyhound Recorder, Bolton extended his remorse for his actions.

“It’s a lesson learned and I’m extremely remorseful,” Bolton said.

“Can I point out that I never intentionally looked to misguide anyone and wasn’t aware such a rule was in place. Hopefully it can serve as education to other trainers that might find themselves in the same position.

“I’m just putting it behind me now and looking forward.”

GA RULE 87: 

Betting to lose (1) For the purposes of this Rule “lay” means the offering or placing of a bet on a greyhound: (a) to lose an Event; or (b) to be beaten by any other runner or runners in an Event other than a bet of a type which will generate a dividend if the greyhound places first in the Event and the other elements of that bet type required to be successful are satisfied; or (c) to be beaten by any margin or range of margins in an Event; or (d) that a greyhound will not be placed in any one of the first four finishing positions in an Event in accordance with the provisions of Rule 61.

(2) Any person directly involved, or employed in the nomination, training or care of a greyhound or a person who has provided a service connected to a greyhound, within the preceding 21 days of the greyhound starting in an Event, shall not lay the greyhound in the Event.

(3) In circumstances where it is an offence for a person to lay a greyhound pursuant to this Rule it shall also be an offence for that person to- (a) have a greyhound laid on his behalf; or (b) receive any money or other valuable consideration in any way connected with the laying of a greyhound by another person.

(4) It shall be an offence for any person to offer an inducement to a participant in greyhound racing with the intention of profiting from a greyhound not participating in an Event to the best of its ability.