UPDATE

It’s been a while since we posted, so here’s a quick run down on where we’re at in our quest to bring back fairness to sports and race wagering in Australia.

Northern Territory

Consistent with recent posts, we are still getting no help whatsoever from the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) or the Northern Territory Government.

This is the regulatory authority that in mid-2013 removed the rule requiring bookmakers to bet all punters to win a minimum amount ($1000) on racing.

We put the following to the Northern Territory Minister for Business, David Tollner:

  • “Are you planing to make any changes to the way the NTRC operates and how it oversees the regulation of bookmakers in the NT? We are particularly referring to one of the objects of the NT Racing and Betting act: “(c) to promote fairness, integrity and efficiency in the operations of persons engaged in racing and betting in the Territory”.”

He responded:

  • “I do not wish to interfere with their (NTRC’s) independence” He then goes on to note a VCAT case where it was found that “a bookmaker cannot be compelled to accept a wager from a person” before he concluded that: “In essence, each wager is a contract and no person can be compelled to contract with another. This fully supports the Racing Commission’s stance.”

Bookmakers licensed by the Northern Territory Government are turning over close to $6 billion annually with conservative profit estimates of $400 million. Last financial year they paid just $2.4 million in tax to the NT Government through a levy on gross wagering profits, capped at $250,000 per bookmaker.

So why are the NT Government so keen to bow down to these highly profitable foreign-owned bookmaking firms given that tax receipts are so low? We have been led to believe it has a lot to do with Federal GST rebates. Huge rebates on the GST bookmakers pay. If anyone can contribute on this issue, let us know.

Code of Conduct 

Rich has met with and continues to meet with several significant stakeholders including bookmakers, direct racing participants and administrators, in an effort to have our proposed Code of Conduct accepted.

At least ONE bookmaker has indicated that they are willing to sign off on the Code of Conduct straight away.

Other conversations are ongoing and we will await further responses in the next few weeks.

Integrity

Integrity continues to be a huge issue facing sports and racing bodies. Banning winning punters here drives a considerable amount of money offshore to a multitude of bookmakers including Pinnacle and SBOBet, where information sharing agreements with Australian sports and racing bodies are non-existent.

Money becomes untraceable and massive concerns have to be raised about possible match-fixing and corruption. All on the NT Government watch.

We will be pushing for Federal action in the upcoming months as it has become clear that State and Territory regulators are completely complicit with bookmakers.

Twitter

In a short time, we have passed the 700 follower mark @FairWagering. Twitter conversation has been open and honest. We thank all for contributing to the discussion and hope that we can continue to use social media to draw attention to the issues and to conduct a balanced debate about bringing back fairness and integrity to Australian wagering.

Dave