How Racing Victoria’s Race Fields Policy Has Changed the Landscape of Trackside Punting in Australia

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The betting culture in Australia has come a long way, and it’s not going to die with time no matter what happens. But it turns out the landscape of trackside punting has changed considerably in Australia, especially after Racing Victoria’s race fields policy that’s pushing big punters away.

The Effect of Race Fields Policy

According to Bluebet boss, Michael Sullivan, Racing Victoria’s race fields policy wants to revive the good old days of starting price (SP) bookmakers by increasing its fees. Owing to this policy, Racing Victoria might be able to maintain the 8 percent point of consumption tax, but the changes that the regulatory body has brought in the race fields has split bookmakers’ product fees into three parts – pari-mutuel, non pari-mutuel, and tote derivative. Bookmakers will have to pay each fee separately at the rate that is the highest between a gross revenue model and a turnover model.

The anticipated effect of race fields policy was that it will bring SP bookmakers back in the game and all the big punters will go to them. As the result of race fields policy, if you win a bet one day, you will have to pay gross revenue, and if you lose the next bet, you will have to pay the turnover. This is like the most unfavourable state to bet in.

The Motive Behind Racing Victoria’s New Race Fields Fee

Racing Victoria said that the regulatory body went through a series of consultations regarding its revised race fields fee schedule that primarily targeted tote products and left exchange betting at 35 percent of revenue. It is quite clear that the motive behind Racing Victoria’s revised race fields fee was to target the betting types that are more popular.

The Proposed Change

From July 1, 2018, Racing Victoria increased its fees on tote products and pari-mutuel products from 1.5 percent to 2 percent on turnover and from 15 percent to 20 percent on revenue. The higher of the two rates is applicable.

The Change in Premiums

Racing Victoria has decided to increase premiums on black type races or meetings. Now, the black type meetings have gone from 2 percent to 2.5 percent and the gross revenue option has gone up to 10 to 25 percent. And the premier meetings have gone from 2.5 percent to 3 percent on turnover or from 25 percent to 30 percent on revenue.

Non pari-mutuel has risen from 1.5 products to 1.6 percent of revenue. That’s the premium for standard meetings, while the fees on premium meetings and black type meetings have stayed at 2 percent of turnover or 20 percent of revenue. The premier meetings have dropped from 3 percent to 2.5 percent on turnover and from 30 percent to 25 percent on revenue.

The race fields policy that brings forward the new schedule set by Racing Victoria is another massive blow for bookmakers. Its effects on the punting industry in Australia will surely surface with time.