Jenny - Clean


WHILE Queensland and to a lesser degree South Australian racing are on their knees with most of their licensees struggling to survive, foreign-owned corporate bookmaker Sportsbet revenue and customer numbers have far exceeded those of local giant Tabcorp and other competitors in the Australian market.

Sportsbet's underlying operating profit in the six months to June hit $75.7 million, according to a report in the Financial Review last week.

The results also revealed Sportsbet's active customers in Australia rose 13 per cent to 688,000, compared to the 475,000 customers Tabcorp revealed in its full 2017 financial results last week.

Little wonder Sportsbet so strongly opposed the Tabcorp merger with Tatts.

Sportsbet, which was acquired by Paddy Power in 2010, were up 78 per cent and 35 per cent from the previous corresponding period.

Australia accounts for 25 per cent of Paddy Power global operating profit of $180 million.

It is also revealed Sportsbet has spent a whopping $62 million on sales and marketing in Australia in the six months to June. But the company warned it would soon have to cease much of its heavy advertising during live matches on television between 5pm and 8.30pm in March next year and the introduction of the 15 per cent betting point of consumption tax that was introduced in South Australia on July 1 would also make its mark on its future results.

“At current revenue levels, the additional cost would be approximately £4million ($6.6 million) per annum,” it said in the results, revealing that South Australia accounted for about seven per cent of its Australian business.

It was also revealed that William Hill last week announced an 85 per cent fall in net profit to $1.1 million despite a 28 per cent rise in the amount wagered by Australian punters to $1.48 billion – yes billion!

It really is about time Government woke up.

Or at least questioned whether the blood-sucking corporates are paying enough turnover tax.

No doubt other States are looking closely at South Australia’s new point of consumption ruling that has the big bookies squealing and retaliating by refusing to offer full service to punters in that State.

Frankly the gambling industry is way out of control and if it requires a Royal Commission to fix – so be it.



YOUR scribe was absent from the successful Cairns Cup meeting on Saturday that saw Rockhampton horses again dominate – winning both features, the Lightning (Isa Tala) and the Cup (Chivadahlii).

I was attending the funeral of one of the great country trainers, Richard Freyer, at Corowa. It was the biggest funeral the town has seen said one local mourner for the man who won the NSW country premiership an incredible 16 times and eight Albury Gold Cups among the 2500 winners amassed in a truly great career.

And Richard went to his grave convinced his star Leica Falcon was robbed of a Melbourne Cup because of the travel bans invoked during the EI crisis that year that prevented him from crossing the NSW border.

They came from everywhere to farewell the gentle giant. Mathew Cahill drove from his home base Cowra and rode at Narromine on Sunday. Brendan Ward was down from Canberra and hundreds of others from all over were there to pay their last respects for a man who broke records that will never, ever be bettered.

Ironically he as buried on Cairns Cup day.

It was 26 years to the day that Gift Man won the Cairns Cup under Paul Gordy.

Richard (who I grew up with) sent the horse to me in Townsville and came to Cairns that year to see him win the Cup. It was one of his rare visits outside his home patch and it is a memory he treasured to the very end.



IS there a bookies war going on between Townsville and Cairns clubs?  

Only one Townsville bookie, Lloyd Mitchell, was allowed to work at Cairns on Saturday.

Was this in retaliation to Townsville Turf Cclub refusing to allow bookies from Cairns and other centres to work at their recent Cup carnival?

Apparently Lloyd is a member of the Cairns 100 Club and apparently that was why he got the nod.

According to one local bookie it wasn’t the Townsville bookmakers who requested a closed ring at Cluden. He insists it was club decision that as not supported by the local bookies.

Not only does TTC continue to ban the kids on Cup day – it is now banning bookies.

To be fair the new committee inherited a no-kids policy from the previous administration. It is wrong for lots of reasons and really the club must stand up to licensing and get the issue resolved.

It only happens in Queensland, apparently.


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