THE Racing Information fee deadline of September 30 is looming ever closer, with interim Chief Executive Ian Hall having met with wagering providers over the past few months.
The previous schedule of fees expired in June, but with the upheaval at RQ, an extension was granted under the existing rates.
Race information fees (RIF) are the biggest growth area in revenue as corporate bookmakers continue to plunder a larger slice of market share.
A number of wagering operators have spoken favourably of their dealings with Hall and believe they have been well heard, but are sceptical by the reference to RIFs in the Racing Reforms discussion paper.
They are wary of the seemingly loaded question “Noting that racing information fees are a source of revenue for Racing Queensland, should the racing fees be held at their current levels? If so, for how long?”.
At the moment, Queensland is the most expensive jurisdiction in Australia for wagering operators.
The discussion paper has been widely condemned, for having errors, loaded questions and a lack of detail.
Respected Victoria-based administrator Paul Bittar was particularly scathing in comments made on Twitter last week.
He tweeted that the document “ranks as one of the most disappointing and poorly constructed set of questions I’ve seen”.
Bittar said the question relating to race fees and the comparison to Victoria “beggars belief”.
Victoria changed their model last year and it now encapsulates bookmaker revenue, while keeping the turnover base, and returns to the industry have been significantly higher.
It will be interesting to see how the new RQ regime deals with Betfair, as the previous board constructed a set of fees that effectively ruled out the exchange from operating on Queensland races.
SPEAKING of Betfair, Chautauqua got out to $8 in the run before blowing his rivals to pieces on Saturday.
Betfair punters sent him out at $2.72 when the gates opened, but layers were happy to offer more generous odds when he drifted so far back.
Those that took the $8 would have been on good terms as the grey produced a burst of acceleration that probably can’t be matched by any other horse in the country.