Queensland Racing Minister Grace Grace ditches minimum bet rule
RACING Minister Grace Grace has declared the State Government has no intentions to introduce legislation that would implement minimum bet requirements in Queensland.
The move comes despite Racing Queensland indicating only last year that rules would be implemented in the recently completed Race Information Fees deal between corporate bookmakers and the industry.
The rule was brought in by racing powerhouse states NSW and Victoria to counter the growing number of punters who were being restricted by corporate bookmakers.
The minimum amount they need to bet to lose is between $1000-$2000 — depending on the status of the meeting.
Respected professional punter Daniel O’Sullivan declared the “shortsighted” decision by Queensland will see punters send their gambling dollars south and away from State Government coffers at the same time.
“With the recent changes in NSW and Victoria, I now look at Queensland racing and ask whether it’s really worth spending the same amount of time and effort there, when the opportunity to bet in Queensland is significantly less and in some cases totally close off to me,” he said.
“There’s no doubt in my mind that there will come a time in the future where Racing Queensland look back and lament the decisions of the current Board to encourage a biased wagering landscape and allow market share to be lost to other jurisdictions.”
Ms Grace said she would monitor what was happening “with regard to what’s happening in other jurisdictions” despite minimum bet regulations being in place since 2014 in New South Wales.
At the time, Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’landys spruiked the importance of minimum bet rules, saying anyone should be able to place a “legitimate bet on NSW thoroughbred races … and not have their accounts closed simply because they are successful.”
Currently on track bookmakers in Queensland are required to bet any punter to lose a minimum of $1000, however online corporates licensed out of another state are not bound by the same rules.
Deputy opposition leader Deb Frecklington slammed the government, saying the move would send valuable dollars to southern states.
“We will be at a disadvantage to New South Wales and Victoria because Labor’s policy is to favour multinational corporate bookmakers who aren’t based here and don’t pay tax here,” Frecklington said.
“This is a decision that will cost jobs, force punters interstate and funnel money out of the Queensland racing industry.”
Story courtesy Trenton Akers – Brisbane Courier Mail