National Solution Needed for Product Fee Issue / National / 10 Nov, 2010

The ATA has called for a national solution to resolve the issue of the product fee to be paid by corporate bookmakers and betting exchanges on the wagering on Australian thoroughbred racing.

At the recent ATA Federal Executive meeting, State Branches expressed their strong support for a national solution to the issue, which over the past few years has seen a divide between State racing administrations as to whether the product fee should be based on turnover or gross revenue or a hybrid of both.

The ATA Federal Executive declared that it was crucial for a national solution to be achieved as an immediate priority, given the major funding issues facing the racing industry in all States.

Returns to industry participants have failed to keep pace with the rising costs of racing and have declined in real terms over recent years. Combined with relatively low growth in wagering on thoroughbred racing, returns to the industry are under serious pressure and will further discourage racehorse ownership and threaten the livelihoods of many industry participants.

The reported intervention of Federal Assistant Treasurer Bill Shorten in attempting to broker a national solution to the product fee issue as part of an overall national response to the Productivity Commission’s Inquiry into Gambling in Australia, is welcomed.

Federal and State Governments rely heavily on tax revenue from thoroughbred racing to fund many essential programs and together with the various State racing governing bodies, must act as a matter of urgency, to resolve one of the most critical issues facing the Australian racing industry.