December 6, 2017
Racing Queensland changes Race Information Fee (RIF) policy from 1 January 2017
Racing Queensland (RQ) has announced changes for approved wagering operators to publish and use Queensland thoroughbred, harness and greyhound race fields from 1 January 2017.
RQ CEO Eliot Forbes said the current RIF policy returned about $60 million annually to the Queensland racing industry and represented a significant element of industry funding.
“The new policy agreed to by the RQ Board is expected to deliver increased revenues while ensuring an opportunity for customer activity growth in the fastest growing parts of the wagering market,” he said.
The proposed changes to RQ’s RIF policy follows a detailed review of the existing policy that has been in place since 1 November 2015.
The review included analysis of the incentive rebate, consultation with a broad range of approved wagering operators and stakeholders, as well as comparison with interstate racing bodies and other sports.
The review also took account of issues such as free bets, treatment of certain bet types and Minimum Bet Limits (MBL).
Dr Forbes said approved wagering operators actively participated in the review process.
“We are very appreciative of the level of engagement and supporting data provided by a range of our key partners in the wagering sector,” he said.
“We were keen to review the performance of the current race fields model as well as seek input to the type of model that would deliver increased customer engagement in Queensland racing product.”
Dr Forbes said in developing a new policy, RQ was working against a backdrop of an operating deficit and a difficult financial situation for Queensland racing.
“This has in part driven our policy changes,” he said.
“It was necessary to both protect our revenues but also to broaden our positioning in the wagering market.
“It is often difficult to implement changes that are welcomed by all sectors of the wagering market, but we are confident that the proposed policy will meet the outcomes sought.”
“RQ will analyse the impacts of the new 12 month policy and, if necessary, consult further in 2017 to address any policy areas that can be improved as the wagering market continues to evolve,” he said.
Dr Forbes said under Queensland legislation, the ability to make amendments to MBL was outside RQ’s remit.
“The Racing Act 2002 and the Racing Regulation 2013 include strict limitations on the conditions that can be imposed on the use of Queensland Race Information,” he said.
“The Racing Regulation 2013 does not allow RQ to impose conditions in respect of Minimum Bet Limits.
“Consultation to date has taken account of issues raised by punters in previous discussions, as well as with wagering operators related to the recent introduction of similar MBL policies implemented by Racing Victoria and Racing NSW.”
“RQ has considered a broad range of factors and metrics on the issue and will keep a watching brief on this and other matters.