The British Horseracing Authority has recently announced that Darren Egan has been banned from racing until 2027. Philip Langford, a businessman and gambler, is to be excluded from all BHA licensed premises for at least 15 years.
Egan and Langford were found to have engaged in a corrupt conspiracy to exploit inside information, including Egan "riding to lose" in line with Langford's bets.
Two issues of wider interest come out of the Disciplinary Panel's well-reasoned findings:
(1) success was achieved by effective co-ordination between agencies - the conspiracy was established, in large part, by a combination of irregular movement in Langford's 9-year betting history and telephone records obtained by the Gambling Commission.
(2) sanctions against non-participants are not straightforward - Egan will be 35 before he can ride in the UK again (although he is reportedly living in the USA). That is a potent sporting sanction. But Langford was not licensed by the BHA, and so the BHA's options for sanction were limited. This highlights bigger issues about the scope of a governing body's powers.
A long exclusion order sends a clear message, even if Langford's involvement in other sports remains unaffected. Law enforcement agencies and/or vigilance in the gambling industry would be needed to keep Langford out of sports betting altogether.
But the BHA appears to have taken clear action where it can, and should be applauded for that.