Racing: BHB backtracks on `dishonest' claims

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The Independent Online
THE British Horseracing Board has attempted to deflect the controversy surrounding a survey it commissioned in which only 17 per cent of punters "agreed strongly" that the betting industry is honest. Yesterday the BHB claimed that the survey results had been "widely misinterpreted".

Yesterday's statement from the BHB countered: "The Opinion Leader Research survey of punters' opinions, presented at last Thursday's AGM, has been widely misinterpreted in the press and on television with regard to the honesty of the betting industry.

"As a result, attention has been distracted from the more important messages in the survey about the way punters think the chronic underfunding of British racing should be tackled.

"First and foremost, it is important to re-emphasise the fact that all the findings of the OLR survey represent the opinions of punters, not the BHB. The BHB itself is in no doubt as to the overall honesty of the betting industry.

"However, OLR's detailed focus group work and their subsequent opinion survey did show that honesty is not a quality which betting-shop punters themselves associate strongly with bookmakers.

"This is reflected in the figure of only 17 per cent of punters in the survey who `agreed strongly'."