Bookies Blast Greedy Racing QLD Policy

By: Ryan Clark
September 6th, 2011

In the latest chapter of the book of ongoing disputes in the Sunshine State on course bookies have called for a full overview of the way they’re charged by Racing Queensland.

Leading fielder Lindsay Gallagher claims that if current regulations aren’t altered on course bookie representation could be cut in half in less than six months.

The anger stems from new race fields legislation which they say reaches into their pockets with two hands.

As it stands all wagering operators pay a flat 10 percent fee on profit they’ve made over the course of a month, that number set at 15 percent during the carnival period.

In addition to that however they also shell out a .33 percent turnover tax and stand fee.

This tax is said to earn the Brisbane Racing Club alone around $600,000 each year.

The conjecture arises from the fact bookies operating in Victoria and New South Wales do not have to pay the fee, the money instead flowing to the clubs from either Racing Victoria or Racing New South Wales on the back of their new fields legislation.

Racing Queensland remains adamant they won’t be replicating this move.

“The clubs have the right to charge that fee and they are continuing to do that,” RQL chief executive Malcolm Tuttle said.

“We, RQL, are charging a fee for use of the information by bookmakers.”

Racing Queensland charges their fees monthly and there is no credit given for losses during the previous months.

That is also different to other states where profits are based across a full 12 month period and bookmakers receive compensation for the on course turnover tax.

The idea of race fields legislation as a whole was to ensure corporate bookmakers return their fair share of profits to the racing industry.

On course bookies claim they’ve now been unfairly disadvantaged by a policy that wasn’t even designed to restructure them.

“They either want to put us out of business or slug you twice,” Gallagher said.

“Every other state does have compensation. Except here they want to double dip, that’s what it amounts to.”

He said that bookies now face a very real threat to their survival and if they were to fall so to may the entire country racing industry with no betting market to prop it up.

“We have copyright on the prices but we are not getting compensation for creating the market,” he said.

“We create the prices. The blokes in Darwin (corporates) aren’t.”

Tuttle though argues that while they may have a tangible impact during the Brisbane winter carnival, he isn’t convinced they are an essential part of the industry during the rest of the year.

“Our interest is getting a fee for the industry when the information is used,” he said.

“The charge is intended to more readily relate to the use of the information and not whether … the business has been profitable or otherwise.”

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