In History: Notable Scandals in Online Horse Racing Betting

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on email

A horse has an average life expectancy of 25 to 30 years. For the record, horses reach the peak of their potentials between ages seven and ten years old. Horses are like men; their performance tapers off as they grow older. Perhaps, this similar nature has drawn humans into horse racing profoundly.

Whether it’s on traditional or online horse racing betting, outrageous incidents could always happen. From technological manipulations to evident trickeries, horse race betting has seen its fair share of betting scandals.

Online Horse Race Betting

Online betting has become the most recent betting drift in several sports events. Horse race betting sites are accessible on the web, linking speculators and punters in different regions of the globe.

For novice bettors who are still reluctant to place bets online, an initial experience should be made extra interesting for them. By getting to watch horse racing live at TVG, newbies can see for themselves how fun horse racing can be, especially if there’s no hint of fraudulent misdeeds looming in the background.

Brief Historical Overview

The beginning of horse race betting can be traced to the early 1600s under King James I’s sovereignty in the United Kingdom. Observers of horse racing competitions would stake money on the horses’ final positioning by the end of the run.

Doncaster Racecourse is the oldest and longest-running regulated horse race in the entire world. This landmark is located in Great Britain. From race patrons based in different regions of the United Kingdom, online betting became a rage among horse racing fanatics. Simply with a smartphone, you can speculate on a horse race result at one’s convenience.  

Remarkable Scandals in Betting History

In October 1994, the pioneering online gambling site was launched to a broader audience. In the early 2000s, the internet was integrated into closed-circuit websites and available betting markets like simulcast racing and other forms of communication.

But this new method isn’t foolproof to a few misconducts. Hence, here are some of the most notable scandals in the world of online horse race betting.

Breeders’ Cup Pick Six Betting Scam

Presumably, this scandal in the online horse race betting history is the most controversial one. This betting scam has involved a gigantic player in the wagering systems across the globe. Autotote, a sports wagering service provider, has taken its major setback in 2002 because of Chris Han, a programmer registered under the company.

A mastermind can’t execute the grand scheme without associates. Three college buddies carried out the multimillion-dollar fraud. Along with Han, Derrick Davis and Glen DaSilva played vital roles in wrapping up the trick, which has outraged horse racing enthusiasts worldwide.

Being a senior software engineer, Han mobilized his friends to place bets from off-track betting sites in New York and then sneaked into Autotote’s system to manipulate the arranged wagers made by fans.

The one who hit the headlines was Davis. He was set to win the $3.1 million on the Breeders’ Cup Pick Six. The fraud was completed through their collaboration, granting Harn the lightest punishment of 1 year and a day of conviction, while Davis and DeSilva got 37 and 24 months, respectively.

Bill Vlahos

With a total of 347 charges, Bill Vlahos’ fraudulent scheme fell apart in 2013. The illegally earned funds’ overall figure is $120 million accumulated through his unauthorized punting club called “The Edge.”

Vlahos founded a cult-like betting syndicate. He has offered winning betting formulas in horse racing, which turned out to be bluff. He would make all the club members wager for thoroughbred horse racing and promise them long-term “too good to be true” returns.

In reality, he spent all the funds collected for his business ventures, luxurious recreations, and accommodations. He tricked all his patrons by linking false figures with the actual race details.

This scam in horse racing betting began in 2008. Barrie even made up an international betting agent whose name is Daniel Maxwell or “Max.” With this fabricated identity, Vlahos earned cash out of his 71 willing victims.

The scam held out for six years until it was terminated in 2013. He was revealed guilty of two counts of earning funds by deception worth $17,520,225.

Brighton £3.5 Million Betting Fraud

This is a case of complex money laundering involving two men from Brighton as the scam’s major agents. Lee Taylor and Daig Head are the perpetrators behind this £3.5 million betting fraud.

They have convinced horse racing punters to place bets under their accounts. Of course, the money will not be registered to any online betting platforms. They would withdraw it in cash and let their victims wait for nothing.

To keep the fraud going, they would guarantee that the funds are deposited in an off-shore company to cancel the growing suspicions of the victims.

This online fraud was busted in 2015. The Brighton men both pleaded guilty to money laundering through horse racing bets. Head got seven years imprisonment while Taylor will serve 20 months imprisonment and suspended for two years.


Sports betting is flourishing over the years. It has even shifted from conventional in-house wagering to legal sportsbooks available online. However, online frauds are just holding their horses for the perfect timing to attack obliging victims. Hence, as a bettor, you must determine which ones are legitimate and which ones are fraudulent.

Related To This Story

Latest NEWS