Last Friday in the high court of Australia, old time racing (the Tote) took the Corporate bookies to task. In this round the high court went with the TAB, and imposed a turnover fee on any of the corporate bookies, which essentially keeps TAB's monopoly in place.
Who does this hurt? You guessed it, the bettor.
- RNSW CEO Peter V’Landys said on TVN on Sunday, “this was never about the punter”. However, what he has always failed to comprehend is that everything starts with the punter’s dollar and the finished product in his patch is likely now to be more expensive and slowly force racing punters to more attractive options, of which there are plenty. He claims to want to look after the 50,000 participants in the racing industry, but continues to ignore his most important and valuable participants, the four million punters who actually fund the industry
- V'landys: "This is the biggest problem the racing industry has ever had, because this is a direct threat to its funding levels." Then again: "It has a massive impact. As I said, 70 per cent of our income comes from wagering, so if that money is being pilfered out -- and we are not getting paid to put the show on, it means that all our 50,000 participants in the end will lose."
What really happened, is that in 2011, two and a half years after these bookies who "pilfer" were allowed to operate, Australia had a record handle, and record purses.
Of course the people who understand gambling and gamblers get it.
- Sportsbet Executive Chairman, Matt Tripp, who also founded Sportingbet Aust, expressed concern that last Friday’s decision may lead to reduced income for racing. “As has been proven by the increase in wagering turnover since the emergence of corporate bookmakers, competition stimulates choice and in turn drives growth and revenue to racing. Giving the TAB a walk-up start will hinder competition, and restrict growth which may harm revenues to racing.”
In the future, handles will fall - because punters aren't playing racing like its a charity, they want choice and a chance to make money - and what will V'Landys do then? Probably find something or someone else to blame.
I hope people learn that you can't squeeze your customers, stifle their choice, and make it harder for them to enjoy your sport, and expect to grow. I hope so. But it's not very likely.
Racing needs one huge house cleaning.