The man behind the successful gaming company Victor Chandler Worldwide has been arrested in France on suspicion of illegal gambling activity at the Arc de Triomphe horse racing meeting at Longchamps.
The VC Empire – which includes VC Poker, VC Casino and VC Bet – immediately set its formidable PR machine to work, issuing a terse statement: “Four people from Victor Chandler were questioned by French police on Monday in respect of various aspects regarding entertaining at Longchamps. They were subsequently released without charge.”
We have been able to wean some facts from various sources:
Horse Racing Abroad, a company which takes British bettors to racing events, was entertaining Chandler and his team (including his nephew and rails representative Butch Beaton-Brown) at their corporate facilities at Longchamps. According to the Daily Mail, Horse Racing Abroad manager Ian Fry said he had neither seen Mr. Chandler at the racecourse, nor had he seen the group of 10 policemen who raided the premises.
Thierry Delegue, a director of France-Galop (the French racing ruling body) who was in charge of the meeting at the Arc said: "The police have arrested three English bookmakers for blatantly carrying out illegal activities in public." France-Galop has no jurisdiction over gambling matters, but its general director Jean Romanet was aware of the arrests and declared: "It's a criminal offence to take bets at Longchamp. It happened once before, but it was many years ago."
The arrested men were questioned by the French authorities, and although they were eventually released from the racecourse they were also required to remain in Paris for further interviews yesterday.
We heard through the grapevine that the arrested bookmakers were caught in possession of betting stubs and bundles of large Euro bills.