Australia: Scheme launched to stop big punters betting offshore

Flemington racecourse

The scheme will cover the period of the Spring Carnival in Melbourne

  PICTURE: Getty Images  

Australia: An incentive scheme has been launched by Racing Victoria aimed at encouraging bookmakers to accept more bets from high-staking punters and preventing them from striking their bets with illegal offshore operators.

Bookmakers (WSPs) will be offered the chance to reclaim one per cent of turnover from approved high-volume, low-margin (HVLM) punters whose turnover on racing in Victoria is around Aus $500,000 (£279,000) a year but whose margin to bookmakers is less than four per cent.

The scheme, to run for six months backdated to July 1, 2014, will help keep funding levels up for racing in the state Racing Victoria officials believe and prevent any issues surrounding integrity.

Andrew Catterall, Racing Victoria’s chief commercial and strategy officer, said: “RV has recently worked with WSPs to build a deeper understanding of the HVLM segment of the market which is the one most susceptible to moving their betting activity offshore to unlicensed and illegal operators.

“Currently there is no legislation 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.

“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 RV 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: “Through this incentive program RV will be able to continue to work with the WSPs to better understand the HVLM market. 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.”


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