CEO wants government intervention
The CEO of one of Australia's biggest betting outfits, Elmer Funk Kupper of Tabcorp, wants the territorial governments to reform regulation and tax measures to create more revenue for the racing industry and and make it easier for companies such as his to compete with online offerings.
Kupper told ABC Television that at present bookmakers can operate from a state or territory outside NSW and Victoria, where Tabcorp operates the TAB, offering products online without paying the same taxes or fees.
"If you look at the business that we operate in Victoria and NSW, they are actually significantly disadvantaged because the new players over the internet arbitrage significant tax and fee advantages that we don't have," Kupper said in an interiew. "All we are saying is, can we get the rules to be the same."
Corporate bookmakers operating outside NSW and Victoria were not contributing enough to the racing industry in fees, Kupper added.
"Last year we paid some $540 million to the racing industry. The bookmakers paid almost nothing," he said, suggesting that territorial governments should step in to ensure that everyone contributed equally.
"You put that in place you can have a competitive wagering market and a well funded racing industry and that's our argument," he said.
Despite his comments, Tabcorp has set up its own bookmaker in the Northern Territory to take advantage of the loopholes its competitors were using, the Brisbane Times reported. The company was also offering more fixed odds, rather than through TAB's totalising system, to help maintain profit, Kupper confirmed.
"We are in part participating in that trend because we can't wait for governments to get the rules right in the next three to five years, if at all," Kpper concluded.
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