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Racing Chiefs Slam Call For Punting Via Accounts
Racing chiefs & wagering giant Tabcorp "have hit back angrily at a call to make punting through accounts compulsory, insisting it would threaten the industry" reported The Herald-Sun. Global betting exchange Betfair "has proposed making punters open accounts or become licensed among a raft of proposals to better police punting on sport & racing after the inquiry into jockey Danny Nikolic & some wooden-spoon bets placed on Melbourne Storm". But Racing Victoria chief executive Rob Hines criticised the proposal, declaring: "It's naive & ill-conceived. About 65-70% of our turnover comes through cash betting & that's a lot higher in the Spring Carnival. We would not support compulsory accounts or licensing of punters because of the implications on funding for the industry. We haven't done the numbers, but I think it would be catastrophic." And Harness Racing Victoria chief executive John Anderson branded the proposal "absolute nonsense" & emphasised: "That's ridiculous. It would totally cripple the racing industry. Retail punting (with cash) is the backbone of turnover. If people were forced to open accounts it would be catastrophic on revenue for racing." A Tabcorp spokesman also told the newspaper the effect "would stretch beyond racing" & be "devastating" for pubs & clubs, adding: "Any move to force punters betting in TABs to have ID cards is unrealistic & customer unfriendly. It would drive recreational customers from betting & does not have the racing industry's interests at heart. Such a proposal would decimate the racing industry at a time when racing's revenue base is under pressure."