Drones giving some gamblers 'an unfair advantage' – RTE.ie

Ireland’s National Public Service Media
Meáin Náisiúnta Seirbhíse Poiblí na hÉireann
Betting while a sporting event is "in play" has created an opportunity for certain drone users to push an advantage, according to Green Party Senator Vincent P Martin.
He noted that if you are watching a race on TV, the images you see on screen are already seconds old.
And he warned that using a livestream can get those images just that bit faster.
This gives a valuable advantage, both in terms of time, and also access to an aerial view with more detail than the usual track-side cameras, potentially providing critical information as the race unfolds.
Senator Martin warned that unscrupulous parties are using these tactics to get an inside track, and he is calling for immediate action to be taken.
He told the Seanad that these practices "undermine the organisers" of races while giving some punters "an unfair advantage".
Racecourse owners have expressed their frustration to him that their events are being streamed to the black market, with gamblers paying to gain that all-important edge.
And Senator Martin said that the "awful blight" is on the increase, including in his home county of Kildare, where there are three race tracks.
To tackle it, he is introducing the Regulation of Air Traffic Over Sporting Events Bill, an initiative he said racecourse owners are fully behind.
It would allow an organiser of any sporting venue to apply for a ban on the use of drones on their premises – if they believed an unfair betting advantage could be gained for an event.
At the very least, Senator Martin told RTÉ News, the bill will act as a catalyst to start a conversation on the issue.
If the Regulation of Air Traffic Over Sporting Events Bill is enacted in Ireland, it includes a fine of up to €4,000 and/or six months in jail for a first offence, rising to a €5,000 fine and/or a year in prison for a second offence.

The problem has already got attention at the highest levels in Britain.
"These drones are impressive devices costing over £20,000 (€23,500), loaded with top tech and piloted by Civil Aviation Authority-qualified people," the Racing Post reports.
"They are serious machines for serious operations who are winning hundreds of thousands of pounds using their time advantages," it says.
The British government recently rejected calls in the House of Lords to ban this use of drones.
Lord Callaghan, parliamentary under-secretary of state for the Department of Business, said suggestions that the drone operators are infringing on copyright law were not backed up.
But he added that the government would be open to hearing a stronger argument at a future point – if one could be made.

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