By TERRY BUTTS of the NQ REGISTER

THE long-awaited and much anticipated merger of the two Totes, UBET and TABCORP, hit an unexpected speed bump last week when Racing Victoria surprisingly opposed the $11 billion deal.

RV is TABCORP’s joint venture partner that provides RV with a whopping $200 million annually.

It was a bomb no-one in racing was expecting and most believe (and hope) it will have the impact of a North Korean-made missile.

Nonetheless, it is seen as a controversial attempt by RV to derail the negotiations.

By TERRY BUTTS of the NQ REGISTER

IT was the news that the Queensland racing industry had been waiting for.

The merger of our poor performing UBET with national leader TABCORP is almost complete. A merger that will provide a virtual national tote that hopefully will reshape the gambling platform of Australia.

It will be the end of the corporate bookies gaining advantage by offering best tote dividends to the customers they weaned from the traditional totes of each State. Because there will be only one tote.

By TERRY BUTTS of the NQ REGISTER

SKY coverage of country TAB meetings at Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns has been given a major boost with the appointment of ex-Townsville Turf Club CEO, Michael Charge, to provide regular trackside hosting on its Thoroughbred Central Channel.

Rockhampton Jockey Cub PR man, Darren Nufer, reports that punters nationwide got their first look at the expanded television coverage last Thursday at Callaghan Park.

Charge is no stranger to the camera having regularly fronted the SKY cameras providing mounting yard mail for Townsville “as part of my duties for the TTC”.

But after 11 years he quit the club as CEO last month and negotiated a deal with SKY that will see him covering all TAB meetings from Rocky to Cairns. Charge will provide punters with his pre-race insights at TAB meetings in Rockhampton, Mackay, Townsville and Cairns.

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