Non Raceday Inquiry – Written Decision dated 19 February 2023 – Sam O’Malley

ID: RIB15945

Respondent(s):
Sam O'Malley - Jockey

Applicant:
Ms Georgina Murrow - RIB Investigator

Adjudicators:
Mr B Mainwaring, Mrs N Moffatt

Persons Present:
Ms Georgina Murrow, Mr Sam O'Malley

Information Number:
A16864

Decision Type:
Non-race Related Charge

Charge:
Placing Bets on NZTR Races

Rule(s):
707(1)(a) - Misconduct - Betting by Riders

Plea:
Admitted

Animal Name:
n/a

Code:
Thoroughbred

Hearing Date:
17/02/2023

Hearing Location:
New Plymouth Racecourse - 1 Rogan Street New Plymouth

Outcome: Proved

Penalty: Rider Sam O'Malley is fined $900

Facts:

An Authority to Charge dated 21/12/22 was provided to the Adjudicative Committee.

Charge:

Information No. A16864 was provided outlining a breach of Rule 707(1)(a) of the NZTR Rules of Racing.

Rule 707(1)(a): a rider must not bet or have any interest in a bet, or facilitate a bet on any race, or any contingency which includes or relates to any race, that is governed by these rules. For the purposes of this rule, the reference to bet includes laying any horse.

The Respondent confirmed to the Adjudicative Committee that he understood the Rule and admitted the breach.

RIB Summary of Facts:

The Respondent in this matter, Sam O’Malley is a Class ‘A’ Jockey licenced under the Rules of New Zealand Thoroughbred Racing. He is 24 years old.

Circumstances:

On the 16th October 2022, Mr Sam O’Malley placed 4 bets on NZTR races at Rotorua using his NZ TAB Account Number 167584.

These were as follows:

Race 1 – $300 win

Race 2 – $100 win and place

Race 3 – $100 win and place

Race 5 – $170 win

These were identified by the RIB betting analyst. Mr O’Malley was not riding at the time.

On 23rd October 2022, Mr Sam O’Malley placed 4 bets on NZTR Races at Trentham using his NZ TAB Account Number 167584.

These were as follows:

Race 2 – $220 win

Race 3 – $200 win

Race 4 Р$220  win

Race 6 – $100 win

These were also identified by the RIB analyst and again Mr O’Malley was not riding at the time.

When spoken to, Mr O’Malley admitted placing the bets and explained as he is taking a break from riding, he thought he was allowed to bet.

He was given a formal warning by the RIB (then RIU) in 2019 for the same breach and advised at the time, that any further offending would result in a formal charge being lodged. A copy of this correspondence was provided to the Adjudicative Committee.

When questioned, Mr O’Malley confirmed that he agreed with the content of the Summary of Facts as provided.

Decision:

As the charge was admitted by Mr O’Malley, it was deemed proved by the Adjudicative Committee.

RIB Penalty Submission:

RIB’s position as to Penalty

Rule 707(4)

For the purposes of Rule 801(t), any breach of Rule 707 is deemed to be a Serious Racing Breach.

Rule 803(1)

A person who, or body or other entity which commits or is deemed to have committed a breach of these rules or any of them for which a penalty is not provided elsewhere in these rules shall be liable to:

(a) be disqualified for a period note exceeding 12 months; and/or

(b) be suspended from holding or obtaining a licence  for a period not exceeding 12 months. If a licence is renewed during a term of suspension, then the suspension shall continue to apply to the renewed licence and/or

(c) A fine not exceeding $20,000

The RIB submitted that the penalty in this case should be a fine of no less than $1,000. Costs were not sought.

Reasons for Decision:

In determining penalty, the Adjudicative Committee were referred to precedents as follows:

Johnson – January 2019

In January 2019, Mr Johnson, a Class A Jockey, admitted a breach of Rule 707(1). He admitted that between the 11th August 2018 and 8th December 2018 he placed 20 bets on NZTR governed meetings via his NZ TAB Account. Mr Johnson was fined a sum of $1,750.

Harris – July 2016.

In July 2016, Mr Harris admitted a breach of Rule 707(1). He admitted that between the 5th and 11th of June 2016 he placed eight bets on NZTR governed meetings via his NZ TAB Account. He had received a previous warning for betting by the RIU. Mr Harris was fined a sum of $850.

Teeluck – April 2016.

In April 2016 Mr Teeluck, an Apprentice Jockey, admitted a breach of Rule 709(1). He admitted to one ‘representative charge’ in relation to placing 15 bets on the NZ TAB ‘Jockey Challenge’ between August and December 2015. Four of these bets were placed on himself and the remainder on other Jockeys. Mr Teeluck was fined a sum of $2,000.

Aggravating Factors:

Mr O’Malley, given the 2019 warning, should have a clear understanding of his obligations under Rule 707(1). His claim that given he was taking a break from riding he thought he was allowed to bet, does not provide legitimate defence for his actions.

Mitigating Factors:

Mr O’Malley has been cooperative throughout the process and admitted the breach at the earliest opportunity.

In setting penalty, the Adjudicative Committee drew from the comparable cases as denoted. Johnson and Harris, in particular, are helpful with the Adjudicative Committee determining a starting point of $1,200 is appropriate. In turn, the fine is reduced by $300 to reflect the aforementioned mitigating factors.

Conclusion:

Mr O’Malley is fined a sum of $900. There is no order as to costs.

Decision Date: 17/02/2023

Publish Date: 21/02/2023