Racing Fees Hiked In Australian Province

Racing Victoria imposes substantial hikes on bookmakers' fees

Online and retail bookmaking companies in Australia will soon feel the sting of substantially increased fees following the announcement today (Friday) by Racing Victoria that it will adopt a blended model in charging what is known as "race-fields" fees in order to garner more income in particular from the fast-growing online bookmakers.

Fees for online betting, fixed odds and derivative betting will be the higher of total wagering turnover or a cut of bookmaker "gross revenue" or profits, reports WA Today.

The changes will hit stock exchange-listed operators such as Tabcorp, which has a joint venture with Racing Victoria for parimutuel or tote betting and a corporate bookmaking business in Luxbet, as well as online operators such as Sportsbet, Sportingbet and Betfair, the newspaper notes.

The Racing Victoria move creates a difference between it and Racing New South Wales, which uses a turnover business model following its successful court case two years ago against online bookies.

Under the new Racing Victoria arrangement online bookmakers will have to pay the higher of 1.5 percent of turnover or 15 percent of gross revenue for 440 standard race meetings in Victoria with effect from July 1 this year.

The 45 meetings containing a group or listed race will see a charge or either 2 percent of turnover or 20 percent of gross revenue charged, with the figures rising to 3 percent of turnover or 30 percent of gross revenue for the 10 premium group 1 meetings, including the Melbourne Cup.

Traditional parimutuel or tote betting will be levied with a charge of 1.5 percent of turnover for standard meetings, 2 percent of group or listed race meetings and 2.5 percent for the 10 premium group 1 meetings.

Racing Victoria received $78 million in race-field fees in 2013 on its turnover business model for all race-field fees, with a rate of 1.5 percent for standard meetings and 2 percent for group, listed and premium group 1 meetings.

The implementation of its new rates will be watched with interest by Racing NSW and Racing Queensland, who are also set to raise fees before the end of June.

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