Racing Queensland is the latest jurisdiction to consider a substantial increase to the price it charges corporate bookmakers to bet on its races, with Racing NSW expected to lock in a fee increase before the end of the financial year.
Racing Victoria announced on Friday that it will adopt a ‘blended’ model in charging its ‘race fields’ fees from July 1. The Racing Queensland board will meet this week discuss a potential hike in fees, and Racing NSW appears set to follow suit.
The bottom line is this: the more states that adopt a ‘blended’ model, the more corporate bookmakers have to pay in ‘race fields’ fees.
This will have a substantial impact on the their business models, which in turn is almost certain to affect the way they price races.
Many of our members have been barred or had their accounts severely restricted by several corporates (Centrebet, Sportsbet, Sportingbet etc.), but this fee hike will also affect the few corporates who are willing to take a bet for a substantial amount, and the betting exhange Betfair.
Under Racing Victoria’s ‘blended’ model, corporate bookmakers will have to pay either 1.5% of turnover, or 15% of gross revenue (profits) it makes on Victorian racing’s 440 standard meetings per year, whichever figure is higher.
This rises to 2% of turnover or 20% of gross revenue for the 45 meetings per year containing a group or listed race, and peaks at 3% of turnover or 30% of gross revenue for the 10 premium group 1 meetings, which of course includes all the spring majors – Melbourne Cup, Caulfield Cup, Cox Plate and more.
Not surprisingly, the Australian Wagering Council, which represents online bookmakers in Australia, has opposed the move to increase fees, claiming it is likely to lead to more Australians betting with illegal offshore operators.
“The sustainability of the racing industry depends on innovation, digitalisation and a renewed customer-centric racing experience, not merely on regular increases in the product fees levied on wagering operators,” AWC chief executive Chris Downy told News Corp.