Saturday August 16,2014 : AUSSIE RACING TO GIVE LOCAL BOOKIES INCENTIVES
Bid to keep the money in Australia.
Australian racing has launched an incentive scheme designed to encourage local bookmakers to accept more bets from high rolling punters in order to entice them away from illegal offshore internet operators.
The Racing Post reports that the initiative is spearheaded by Racing Victoria, which is offering bookies an opportunity to reclaim one percent of turnover from approved high-volume, low-margin punters, whose turnover on racing in Victoria is around A$500,000 (GBP 279,000) a year but whose margin to bookmakers is less than four percent.
The plan is for the scheme to run for six months from July 1 as a trial to see if it will help keep funding levels up for racing in the state and prevent any issues surrounding integrity.
Andrew Catterall, Racing Victoria's chief commercial and strategy officer, said his organisation had worked with bookmakers to build a deeper understanding of the HVLM segment of the market which is the one most susceptible to moving betting activity offshore to unlicensed and illegal operators.
"Currently there is no legalization enforced to prevent Australian punters moving their betting activity to unlicensed offshore operators who have a cost advantage relative to approved domestic WSPs, one which can be used to target HVLM clients," he said.
"Unlicensed offshore operators make no economic contribution to the sustainability of the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry. These operators also avoid paying Australian state taxes and Goods and Services Tax.
"More importantly, such wagering operators do not have information sharing agreements with Racing Victoria and therefore betting activity being conducted with them is unable to be monitored. This is a heightened integrity concern for RV which needs to be addressed."
He added: "The expectation from the trial is that it will enable WSPs to grow this segment of the market and prevent customers betting offshore with unlicensed operators.
"The level of incentive and expected turnover performance should also produce a positive increase in net revenue to the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry."