Bookies fees risk inflating illegal market, may change business models

    Published in: Latest IntelligenceFee hikes for bookies in Australia’s horse betting market threaten to boost illegal gambling, push players back offshore and may force companies to change their business models, experts said.Victoria has changed its fee structure, while New South Wales has also proposed similar hikes, sparking concern others may follow suit and raising a furore among the nation’s bookmakers.According to the Australian Wagering Council, racing accounted for 13.6 percent of Australia’s total A$19 billion ($17.8 billion) spend in the 2008 – 2009 period. A report by the The Victorian Commission for Liquor and Gambling Regulation for 2012 – 2013 estimated that the combined racing and sports betting take had risen to some 15 percent of total spend.Under the new fee structure, for pari mutuel bets, bookmakers in Victoria will have to pay the higher of 1.5 percent of turnover, or 15 percent of gross revenue for 440 standard...

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