04/09/2012 :  AUSTRALIAN SPORTS BODIES WANT MORE CASH FROM BOOKIES
 
Recent High Court ruling on fees in horseracing creating wider ripples in sport
 
The High Court in Australia's recent decision that Racing NSW could claim fees from online bookmakers like Betfair and Sportsbet  is creating ripples in other sports that attract the punters, claims a report in the Sun Herald newspaper.
 
Quick to see commercial advantage in applying the ruling to their own sports, the Australian Football League (AFL) and Cricket Australia are reportedly investigating the possibilities of exploiting the court's verdict.
 
Tabcorp already pays the AFL upwards of $1 million a year to be its official bookmaker partner, and the Sun says that more than 20 other betting agencies pay 5 percent of their AFL-related profits into the league's coffers.
 
"A turnover model, as opposed to profits model, could significantly boost the league's bet-related income," the newspaper opines, noting that sports-mad Aussie punters gamble an estimated $500 million a year on AFL events.
 
If the racing turnover cut of 1.5 percent were applied, that would create a $7.5 million annual payment.
 
Betfair, one of the companies that took the failed action against Racing NSW, is a commercial partner of Cricket Australia.
 
Racing Victoria charges corporate bookies on a gross-profit basis for the rights to use its race fields, but said that the turnover method of calculation would add only $1 million to its annual $53 million earnings from race-fields fees.
 
State Racing Minister Denis Napthine said new legalization would be enacted to ensure the Victorian industry received fair returns from wagering entities.
 
"This decision provides much greater certainty to the racing industry, which is worth more than $2.5 billion to the Victorian economy and employs 70,000 people," Napthine told the Sun Herald.
 
Sportsbet and Betfair, who took the High Court action, and other corporate bookies are the big losers from the court ruling, the newspaper notes.
 
But Betfair chief executive Giles Thompson warned "…ultimately it is the punter who will pay for this lack of competition as it will impact on the variety, quality and value of betting on racing in NSW".