South Australian racing
  • New, optional fee model for South Australian racing
  • Improved product offering from TopSport on SA racing

Recently, the growing impost of race field fees on bookies and punters were highlighted by online operator TopSport, who made changes to their offer and appealed to racing authorities for better-value fee structures that would help them grow turnover.

TopSport has now revealed that Thoroughbred Racing South Australia has come to the party with a new, optional fee model for bookmakers that will assist them to grow turnover.

TopSport Director Tristan Merlehan explained that the changes are threefold:

  • The removal of increased charges for “premium” race meetings
  • A rebate on fees charged for any increase in turnover over the previous year
  • A flat fee rate for on-course bookmakers.

“Like the other states, SA had a certain rate for the normal meetings, and a higher rate for the bigger and premium meetings,” said Merlehan.

“Now it’s the same for every race day. What that means is we can really promote those big race days.”

The fee rebate for increased year-on-year turnover particularly pleased Merlehan.

“Most importantly, there’s an incentive there for when you grow your business. If you grow your turnover on the previous year, you get rebated a percentage of your race fields feeds on the additional amount, comparative to the year before. That’s the biggest thing from our point of view.

“TRSA get the same as they did the year before but as a bookie if you hold more, you get a rebate on that additional amount. It’s a win-win.”

The changes are part of a new, optional model that bookies can sign on to.

“That’s what I’ve been on about… there’s not just one model here. It’s fair as long as everybody can pick the model that best suits them.”

Finally, in a move which could see increased action in the betting ring, on-course bookies and punters are also set to benefit.

“It doesn’t impact us as such, but it’s something I’m pretty passionate about from an industry standpoint,” said Merlehan.

“They’ve given an incentive to on-course bookmakers, who are only paying 1%. Most of the other states have that in place up to a point, but once you get over a threshold you have to pay the higher rates (that corporate bookmakers pay).

“In SA now, there’s no threshold so they never get to a point where they have to put the brakes on their turnover.”

Improved offers for punters

The impact of the changes for punters are clear, with TopSport announcing a raft of improved offers on South Australian racing:

  1. Limits on “Best of the Best Premium” wagers will be increased. Punters will be allowed to win:
    • $5,000 on all standard Saturday metropolitan race meetings within South Australia; and
    • $10,000 on any South Australian race meeting which features a Group or Listed race on the card.
  1. Upon the first call of the Official Price for each South Australian thoroughbred race, TopSport will offer all customers elevated ‘Minimum Bet Limits’ of:
    • $5,000 on Metropolitan races; and
    • $2,000 on Provincial & Country races.
  1. For all Group or Listed thoroughbred races in South Australia, TopSport will offer all customers elevated ‘Minimum Bet Limits’ of
    • $5,000 for wagers placed prior to the first call of the South Australian Official Price; and
    • 10,000 for wagers placed after the first call of the South Australian Official Price.
  2. TopSport will honour all ‘Minimum Bet Limits’ from the moment that markets are released.
  3. TopSport will limit market percentages on Saturday Metropolitan races to:
    • An overround of 3% per runner to a maximum of 125% from the opening of betting until 10 minutes prior to the jump; and
    • An overround of 2% per runner to a maximum of 115% during the last 10 minutes of betting on the event.

“We’re now going out to actively promote the South Australian product because we really want to increase our turnover,” said Merlehan.

“Hopefully it shows the other states that if you’re willing to work with bookmakers, there’s some that are willing to pass that onto punters which will in turn stimulate turnover and it’ll be a win for everybody.

“That’s the key with all changes – they need to benefit everybody. These ones certainly do.”

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