Queensland racing
  • Expanded minimum bet limits introduced by Racing Queensland
  • Cap on Queensland race field fees allows bookmakers to set markets with more confidence

You’d say Queensland racing has worn its fair share of criticism in recent times.

There was the Eagle Farm debacle, with it ultimately taking years – and a high-profile false start – to get a metro track back into a condition fit for consistent racing.

There’s been a number of regrettable stories around integrity, none bigger than the recent Ben Currie case which has now seen the high-profile trainer charged by police with aggravated fraud.

Not to mention the two recent cases of jockeys weighing in light, which saw winning punters left high-and-dry after watching their horses cross the line first.

These things tend to stack up on top of each other and paint a negative picture, and the chatter in punting circles on social media reflects that.

There is, however, now multiple pieces of good news coming out of the Sunshine State for punters… all is certainly not lost!

Minimum Bet Limits

Queensland thoroughbred racing has had minimum bet limits in place for some time now, which largely reflect those of the major states in Victoria and New South Wales (betting to win $2,000 on metro racing and $1,000 on provincial and country racing).

But starting this week, Queensland has become just the second state (after Victoria) to introduce minimum bet limits on greyhound racing and harness racing

This is a major boon for those who bet on Queensland dogs or trots, with all wagering operators now required by regulation to accept bets to win up to $500 on harness and greyhound racing.

Check out the full details at Racing Queensland here.

In summary, greyhound and harness minimum bet limits apply to all fixed-odds win bets, from an hour before the first race of any harness or greyhound meetings.

It’s a huge step in the right direction for punters.

Race Field Fees

Last week we spoke to Tristan Merlehan from Queensland-based bookmaker TopSport on the Betting 360 Podcast. The major topic of conversation was the level of race field fees charged by racing bodies – particularly those in Victoria and Western Australia – and the impact it has on market percentages and the ability for a low-margin operator like TopSport to offer its products to all punters.

Merlehan outlined how the business pays an incredible 150% of its revenue on Victorian and Western Australian racing to racing bodies: a clearly untenable situation.

It’s led to TopSport having to make a number of changes to its products and markets for Victorian and Western Australian racing. The major changes are an increase in market percentages on fixed-odds betting, and the removal of the ‘Best of the Best’ product for those states’ racing.

But what about Queensland? Pleasingly, Merlehan held out Racing Queensland as an example of a racing body implementing measures to make things cheaper and easier for both bookmakers and punters.

While the calculations for race field fees are complex and vary depending on many factors, Racing Queensland has taken the move to cap all fees at 2.5% of total turnover. This offers crucial certainty to bookmakers when setting their markets on Queensland racing, and allows them to offer products and markets to punters without the concern of spiralling fees offsetting the revenue they may earn.

As a result, none of the changes TopSport have made will apply to Queensland racing: market percentages will remain steady and the ‘Best of the Best’ product remains.

So while some things in Queensland racing were less-than-ideal for a while, it’s clear that Racing Queensland are making some positive moves for punters. They’re moves that shouldn’t go unnoticed.

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