Greyhound Racing Victoria Exposed To Huge Losses

In the Supreme Court of Victoria late yesterday, Tabcorp has welcomed a decision handed down in relation to proceedings brought by its subsidiary Tab Ltd against Racing Victoria Limited and Greyhound Racing Victoria.

The landmark case will save Tabcorp $195 million over the next three years after a judge ruled against a new fee scheme introduced by both Racing Victoria Limited and Greyhound Racing Victoria.

Tabcorp successfully argued that the application of race field fees by Racing Victoria Limited and Greyhound Racing Victoria for more than half of the financial year was unfairly and incorrectly imposed.

While much has been made of the battle between corporate bookmakers such as Sportsbet, Sportingbet, Iasbet, Sports Alive and Centrebet; Betfair, Tabcorp and Racing NSW north of the border, many in Victorian greyhound racing would have even been aware that Greyhound Racing Victoria had been exposed to such large legal action.

The has been no offcicial comment or ackowledgement from Greyhound Racing Victoria to the Victorian greyhound industry over the legal action, despite the fact it had now reached the Supreme Court of Victoria.

What we do know now, it that Tabcorp has won the right to recoup nearly half the $20 million it had already paid to Racing Victoria, but there was now word on potential loss to Greyhound Racing Victoria.

While Tabcop said that “the decision provides wagering operators such as Tab Ltd with greater clarity in areas relating to the application of race field fees”, it also allows for Tabcorp to return to court next week to discuss costs and orders.

The new race fields legislation introduced by Greyhound Racing Victoria and Racing Victoria replaced a gentlemen’s agreement in which Tabcorp paid just 3% of Victorian turnover for race fields use and upped the ante to 10%.

Tabcorp claimed the new fee system would take $65 million out of its annual pre-tax earnings for the next three years and revealed it had already paid $20 million of pre-tax earnings to racing authorities in NSW and Victoria.

Tabcorp successfully argued that the application of race field fees by Racing Victoria Limited and Greyhound Racing Victoria for more than half of the financial year was unfairly and incorrectly imposed.

Greyhound Racing Victoria’s official race fields use policies, current as of 1st July 2009 do not specify any set fee for wagering operators, stating merely that “The Approved Entity must pay GRV the monthly fee calculated in accordance with the letter by which GRV grants approval to the Approved Entity to publish and use Race Fields” suggesting their application of race fields fees is highly variable and not applied uniformly across all wagering operators.