The wagering industry has put pressure on Racing Victoria, leaving the racing body to consider implementing a lower fee regime aimed at punters who bet large amounts, but don’t leave much margin for bookmakers.
If Racing Victoria instead chose to back down, it would represent a large victory for various bookmakers like Tatts Group, Tabcorp, as well as operators of online wagering sites like Betfair, Sportingbet, Ladbrokes and Sportsbet. There are millions of bets being made on racing in Australia, with many of them being placed online. Bookmakers deploy various strategies to attract new punters, such as offering free bets online and other bonus offers. In fact, online gambling publications are often filled with advertisements for free bets Australia, which shows that online betting has gotten very popular in the country.
James Henderson, the chief executive designate of William Hill, a British wagering company that owns various online bookmaking sites like TornWaterhouse.com, Centrebet, freebets.com.au and Sportingbet, expressed confidence that a lower tax regime for big punters will be put into action by September, just in time for the beginning of the Spring Racing Carnival. Mr Henderson, who was visiting Australia, stated that William Hill is willing to work together with Racing Victoria to work out a model that is sustainable.
A new fee regime was announced by Racing Victoria back in May, with the objective of making up for diminishing revenue coming from traditional Tote betting, as more and more punters instead preferred to place their wagers online. With their offers of free bets Australia, many online bookmakers have been able to acquire new customers who regularly bet on racing events.
However, operators of online betting sites weren’t satisfied with the new model, which increased fees and caused the introduction of fees being levied based on income coming from revenue or turnover. Online bookmakers have said that this recent move would lead to them directing punters to place bets on racing and sports events in other states, even though Victoria is the most popular one.
According to Tabcorp, their earnings could be reduced by $4 million as a result of the recent move. Bookmakers have stated that higher fees charged by the racing body would mean that wagers made by “high turnover, low margin” punters would now be unprofitable. The racing body is now considering implementing a different regime, one that would instead levy on bets from punters who made over $100,000 in wagers during the quarter.p
It isn’t just the big punters that are making bets on thoroughbred racing in Australia. With so many free bets online offers, many punters that bet small amounts or only wager occasionally are now using online bookmakers to place their wagers.