The Australian state of Victoria has imposed new minimum bet requirements on race betting operators.
Last week, Racing Victoria announced that its licensed Wagering Service Providers (WSP) would be required to adhere to a new Minimum Bet Limit (MBL) framework, effective October 1.
The MBL will require bookies to accept bets that pay winners up to AUD 2k (US $1,537) on one-win bets on city races, dropping to AUD 1k for non-metropolitan meetings. Bookies must also accept fixed-odds place bets to lose a minimum of $800 for metro meets, $400 for non-metro meets.
The new guidelines will be in effect on racedays from 9am for day meetings and from 2pm for night meetings. Racing Victoria says it has yet to determine what sanctions will apply to any WSP caught failing to abide by the new MBL, but insists that it won’t hesitate to make examples of backsliders.
Racing Victoria CEO Bernard Saundry said his group had arrived at the new policy following feedback from 480 stakeholders, including punters, bookies and regulators. Saundry said it was important to impose the new regime ahead of the major Spring Racing Carnival meetings.
Racing Victoria’s move follows in the footsteps of its counterparts in New South Wales, who introduced their own minimum bet policy in January 2015. The betting minimums are similar but Racing NSW added a caveat that the rules only applied to bookies with annual turnover over AUD 5b.
Bookies’ willingness to impose limits on punters who habitually beat them at their own game isn’t confined to Australia. In June, the British Horseracing Authority’s Horserace Bettors Forum went public with research showing major bookies closing or placing strict limits on thousands of wagering accounts linked to above average win rates.
The kerfuffle even led to last month’s launch of Black Type Bet, a new UK-facing betting site that has vowed to accept any racing wager on which it stands to lose at least £500. Black Type Bet’s only caveat is that bettors who use software scripts to arbitrage wagers via betting exchanges will be subject to a “three-strikes-and-out” policy.