Fri, Jun 20, 7:15pm by Dominic Ciconte
In a move celebrated by both casual and professional punters throughout the country, Racing NSW has set its sights on introducing new conditions for online bookmakers to take bets from all customers.
This means that wagering operators will not be able to turn away punters on the grounds that they have been too successful – a source of incredible frustration in the industry.
In addition to this new rule, Racing NSW will also begin work on introducing a policy that means bookmakers will be required to stand to lose a minimum amount on any single fixed odds bet on NSW thoroughbreds.
Racing NSW Chief Executive, Peter V’landys, said that the decision had been made to create a fairer landscape for both punters and bookmakers.
“There have been frequent and persistent complaints by punters about wagering operators refusing to take their bets, particularly in circumstances where those punters have been successful,” Mr V’landys said.
“Accordingly, the Board of Racing NSW has decided to make it a condition of its Race Fields Information Use approvals that all wagering operators are required to stand to lose a minimum amount on any single fixed odds wager on NSW Thoroughbred races.
“Racing NSW believes there is a current imbalance in favour of wagering operators at the expense of punters and this needed to be rectified.”
NSW native and professional punter, Richard Irvine, had been campaigning on the issue for a number of years. Speaking to the Racing and Sport Network, he said change was long overdue.
“Punters, both professional and recreational, have been afflicted by a number of unfair bookmaker policies for years – it’s good that there is finally some proper action being taken from the people who can make it,” he said.
Irvine confirmed that he had accepted an invitation from Racing NSW to represent professional punters during a consultation process before new rules were initiated.
“Racing is fragmented in Australia because of all of the different governing bodies implementing their own different laws on bookmakers.
“We have online bookmakers in the Northern Territory operating under completely different laws to the other states and I always thought it was never good for the betterment of racing.”
In addition to online bookmakers refusing to take bets, Irvine said his biggest issue was the closing of punters’ accounts.
“As soon as they think you have an advantage over them, they can simply close your account and use whatever excuse they want – there’s no stopping them.
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a recreational punter who’s had a lucky day or a professional punter, if you make yourself a threat to their business, it’s see you later.”
“All we are asking is if we send a bet through at the price quoted, we are allowed to do so – it’s really simple.”
“I really hope Racing NSW is able to make brave decisions and isn’t dictated to by big overseas companies.”
It is Irvine’s hope and expectation that once Racing NSW
For the record, AustralianGambling attempted to contact a number of online bookmakers with wagering operating licences in the Northern Territory, but all refused to comment on the story.
AustralianGambling will continue to follow the story as it unfolds. Racing NSW has given no deadline for the implementation of its new rules.
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