Sportsbet.com.au has vowed to protect its one million-plus customers from the impact of today’s High Court judgment on race-fields fees.
The Executive Chairman of Sportsbet, Matthew Tripp, said while the company is disappointed, its customers won’t be.
“We accept the Court’s decision, however, our focus now shifts to protecting our members from the impact of the decision,” said Mr Tripp.
“We will not be passing on the cost to our one million-plus members. In fact – we’ll work even harder to give them the great value they have come to expect from Sportsbet.com.au.”
Mr Tripp confirmed that Sportsbet would continue its commitment of funding the Racing industry for the long-term.
“Now we have clarity, Sportsbet.com.au will make a long-term commitment to the NSW Racing industry through product fee agreements, as we have in the past, and as we do in every other State,” Mr Tripp said.
“In the past five years, Sportsbet.com.au has paid more than $50 million in product fees to Australian Racing and Sporting bodies, and expects to pay close to $20 million in product fees this year.”
Mr Tripp expressed concern that this decision may lead to reduced income for Racing.
“As has been proven by the increase in wagering turnover since the emergence of corporate bookmakers, competition stimulates choice and in turn drives growth and revenue to Racing. Giving the TAB a walk-up start will hinder competition, and restrict growth which may harm revenues to Racing.
“However, we will continue to provide competition to the TAB by providing our one million-plus customers with the best prices, the best range of products, and the best service in Australia.
“For every dollar staked, the TAB takes more than twice as much from punters as we do. This won’t change as a result of today’s decision. Despite the disadvantage this decision creates for Sportsbet.com.au, we will continue to offer punters significantly better value for money than the TAB.”
In reference to the significant amount of Australian money being spent offshore with unregulated bookmakers, Mr Tripp cautioned against pushing product fees to levels that were not commercially viable.
“If product fees are pushed too high, it has the potential to reduce both competition and consumer choice, to reduce racing’s wagering appeal compared to sports, and ultimately some wagering operators may decide to relocate offshore.”