Self-promoting
bookmaker Kathryn Read has this week made some extraordinary claims and
threatened litigation after alleging she has been the victim of a litany of
abuses at the hands of Melbourne bookies.

For good
measure she has also made an incredible and very serious allegation against
Racing Victoria that oversees the industry in that state, by claiming it gave her
business rivals confidential information about her business. All up Read has thrown down a massive
challenge to the very blokey bookmaking fraternity – and those who supervise
it.

She initially lashed out at what she
claimed to be a male conspiracy by bookmaking rivals to block her from
participating in this year’s annual Melbourne Cup Call of the Card at Crown
casino, which she’s been a part of for the past two years.

But while she may find there are valid reasons as to why she’s not
getting the nod to be part of this year’s Call of the Card; there’s no
doubt she does put a lot of racing noses out of joint. There’s no
question she happily trades off the novelty of being one of the few female bookies in a male dominated industry
to promote herself and the business she fronts. Not that there’s
anything wrong with that; except she sees no problem with plying us
with dud tips in her Herald Sun Spring Racing columns. Yet as soon as
she’s excluded from this year’s Call of the Card – it’s all a male
conspiracy!

But it’s her
letter to RV chairman Graham Duff calling for an investigation into her
allegations that bookmaking rivals had confidential knowledge of her betting
business that had been disclosed at a Call of the Card meeting on Monday at the
Victoria Club, which deserves scrutiny.
Read claims this information, which had disadvantaged her business, could
only have emanated from RV. Duff
denies any such
disclosure of information by his body.

Such is the seriousness of her claims against RV that racing has a duty
to do more than simply deny her claims. Read deserves for her claims to
be taken seriously and investigated fully. The public has a right to
know where the truth lies.

Peter Fray

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