Tabcorp calls for new national betting regulations in Australia

31 October 2013

Australian gaming company Tabcorp has called on the country’s government and regulatory bodies to agree on national regulations for the betting sector.

According to the Skynews.com.au website, the firm said that the current state-based rules and taxation regimes are “inconsistent” and branded regulations in the Northern Territory of the country as “unfair”.

Paula Dwyer, chairwoman of Tabcorp, said that she welcomed the federal government’s intention to prohibit credit betting, as well as the National Commission of Audit's consideration of how governments can help eliminate inconsistencies between states and territories.

“These are steps that we support, but we believe the next stage is to ensure more robust, national regulation of wagering that ends state-based fragmentation and promotes a strong, sustainable and well-governed industry,” Dwyer told shareholders at the firm’s annual general meeting.

“As Australian racing's most substantial financial contributor, we want to work with the federal government in addressing the inconsistencies in Australian wagering regulation, particularly in relation to tote odds betting, as a matter of priority.”

Dwyer highlighted less rigorous conditions for corporate bookmakers in the Northern Territory, in comparison to operators like Tabcorp in Victoria and New South Wales, as issues that are affecting the horseracing industry.

She also said that areas of credit betting, wagering taxation and tote odds are causing problems.

Dwyer noted that all Australian jurisdictions apart from the Northern Territory prohibit or restrict credit betting, meaning Northern Territory-based operators can offer credit to punters no matter what their location is.

Wagering taxes in the Northern Territory are lower than elsewhere, with the territory having contributed a significantly lower amount than other areas.

“We note that the Northern Territory government has announced it is reviewing wagering taxation, and we encourage them to align its rates with other states,” Dwyer added.

She also said the low level of racing product fees and taxes in the Northern Territory, as well as bookmakers not having to share revenue from tote odd-betting in racing, allowed them to offer higher tote dividends.

“Over the medium- to long-term, this regulatory difference will undermine racing industry funding,” Dwyer said.

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