Tasmania is looking to maximize financial returns for its racing industry and it’s doing it the best way it knows how, by charging a fee. Racing Minister Bryan Green has announced that fees will soon apply to operators using Tasmania’s race field information.
No time was wasted in pushing the proposal forward, the Tasmania Cabinet endorsed the proposed amendments to the State’s racing legislation that will require payment of the fees from November 1 this year moving forward. Green made it clear that though the actual legislation is not expected to come into effect until April 2011, the fees will be retrospective.
The fees that will be levied on operators are expected to rake in an estimated $4.9 million a year directly into Tasracing’s operating budget. The fees will affect all entities involved in racing operations including On-course bookmakers, however the Government is proposing that on-course bookmakers can then discontinue paying commissions on their turnover. Even the little guys are getting squeezed as the Solicitor General has also recommended the removal of the threshold which exempted wagering operators with a turnover of less than $2.5 million from paying for race field information.
It will be interesting to see how the smaller operators make do with the new fees and whether mergers and operators pulling out of the market may be in store.