Norway to cap how much horse bettors can lose

by Thomas Hedlund

The Norwegian harness racing business has recently passed legislation setting a monthly limit on how much a person can lose when betting on horse racing.

An order from the Norwegian government earlier this year said that there will be a limit on gambling losses per month of approximately $2,100. But on Wednesday this week, the government announced that the implementation of this limit will be postponed two years.

“The government’s gaming policy must first and foremost take into account gambling dependence and social responsibility. At the same time, it is important for the Government to ensure that the future solution is the best for Norwegian harness racing”, said Norwegian Minister of agriculture Olaug Bollestad.

Norwegian harness racing media first reported the story.

The Norwegian Harness Racing association announced in October — before the two-year moratorium — that a stop of racing in Norway could happen as early as January 2020 if this decision was executed and said there were many negative outcomes for the sport on a government-imposed limit on betting loses. A limit on losses would likely lead to less betting handle which in turn would result in lower purses and, in the end, a dying sport.

The Norwegian government will now evaluate if Norsk Rikstoto (the betting company for horses) will continue in its role or be folded into Norsk Tipping (the betting company for other sports and lotteries) in 2021.

Gocciadoro continues on triumphant path

Italian trainer Alessandro Gocciadoro dominates much of the business in his home country and has even been very successful in northern Europe during the last two years.

On Thursday afternoon, Gocciadoro had success in France when his Vivid Wise As (Yankee Glide) won the $125,000 Prix Marcel Laurent for 4- and 5-year-old trotters at Vincennes racetrack in Paris.

Björn Goop drove the 5-year-old Yankee Glide son and placed him three wide, with cover, the first half mile before he dropped down and temporarily hit the lead. Goop opted to let Excellent take command of the race shortly after Vivid Wise As came to the front.

The pace was set high in the 1.3 miles long race and when Björn Goop found space to sprint in mid-stretch, Vivid Wise As cruised to safe win in a mile rate of 1:53.4.
Excellent and Feliciano took the spots behind the winner.

Cleangame cleans up in Nantes

On Tuesday afternoon, Jean-Michel Bazire left Paris for a moment and steered towards Nantes where a division of $94,100 Grand National du Trot waited for his star Cleangame (Ouragan de Cellard). Cleangame was totally superior to his opponents in the 1.9 miles long race.

Cleangame started 50 meters behind the front horses and came home in mile rate 1:54.3. The next division of GNT is in Mauquenchy on Nov. 20 and then the big final of $144,000 Grand National du Trot is scheduled at Vincennes on Dec. 1.

The victory with Cleangame became quite expensive for Bazire, who made two recall starts from his position 50 meters behind the front horses. A fine of $845 waits him and the champion trainer and driver also has to stand beside the track during 15 days. He is suspended from driving from Nov. 17 to Dec. 1, which means that he is not allowed to drive Cleangame – or any other horse from his barn – in the final of the GNT.