Western Australian Race Fields

Racing Bets Levy

 

The Racing Bets Levy scheme is achieved through the Betting Control Act 1954 and the Racing Bets Levy Act 2009. Section 27F of the Act provides that a domestic betting operator is authorised to publish Western Australian race fields, subject to the requirement that it must, within the period prescribed in the Betting Control Regulations 1978:

  • lodge a return showing the total bets it has taken on WA races
  • pay the relevant racing bets levy.

Domestic betting operator

A domestic betting operator means a person who in any state or territory of Australia is authorised to engage in or conduct the business of betting.

A domestic betting operator is a:

  • licensed bookmaker
  • off-course totalisator
  • on-course totalisator
  • licensed operator of a betting exchange.

Offshore betting operator

An offshore betting operator is a person who is authorised under the law of a jurisdiction outside Australia to engage in or conduct the business of betting on events. Unlike domestic betting operators who are automatically approved to publish WA race fields, offshore betting operators must apply to the Gaming and Wagering Commission for approval (s27D of the Act refers).

Offshore betting operators seeking to bet on WA races should contact the department.

Racing Bets Levy

The Racing Bets Levy scheme came into effect from 1 September 2008. Rates and methods of payment have changed since then. The current levy scheme, since 1 August 2018, is a differential racing bets levy structure where a base rate levy of 1% is charged for all turnover up to and including $3 million. Thereafter, standard race meeting and premium race meeting levy rates apply as follows:

  • Pari-mutuel bets placed on standard race meetings levied at 2% of turnover.
  • Pari-mutuel bets placed on premium race meetings levied at 2.5% of turnover.
  • Betting exchange bets placed on standard race meetings levied at 1.5% of turnover.
  • Betting exchange bets placed on premium race meetings levied at 2.5% of turnover.
  • Fixed odds bets placed on standard race meetings levied at the greater of 2% of turnover or 13.6% of gross revenue, calculated for each race meeting.
  • Fixed odds bets placed on premium race meetings levied at the greater of 2.5% of turnover or 22.7% of gross revenue, calculated for each race meeting.

Betting turnover

Betting turnover is defined in s14A of the Act as:

  • for a domestic betting operator or offshore betting operator (but not the operator of a betting exchange) the total amount of racing bets placed with the operator, less the amount of bet backs placed by the operator
  • in relation to a betting exchange the net winnings of racing bets placed with the betting exchange.

Gross revenue

Gross revenue is defined in s14A of the Act as:

  • in relation to a domestic betting operator or an offshore betting operator (but not the operator of a betting exchange), the turnover of the operator, less any dividends to customers by the operator on racing bets
  • in relation to the operator of a betting exchange, the charges, commission, consideration, earnings, fees, reward or other remuneration (however described), payable to or received by an operator in relation to racing bets placed with, or placed and accepted through, the operator.

Premium race meeting

Premium race meeting is defined in the Racing Bets Levy Regulations 2009 based on the value of stake money on offer as:

  • thoroughbred racing: any meeting that contains at least one race with stake money of $100,000
  • harness racing: any meeting that contains at least one race with stake money of $30,000
  • greyhound racing: any meeting that contains at least one race with stake money of $30,000.

Wagering operators who generate turnover of less than $1000 in any month are required to lodge a return but are exempt from paying any levy in that month.

Racing Bets Levy account

All levy monies received by the Commission are held in the Racing Bets Levy account. Other than an administration fee, all funds are distributed back to Western Australian racing clubs registered with Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA).

Prescribed information requirements

In addition to the levy, betting operators must supply prescribed information on betting transactions conducted on WA races to the Commission. Prescribed information includes information in documents, records or accounts relating to racing bets placed with or placed or accepted through, a betting operator. Betting operators must co-operate with the Chief Steward of RWWA and authorised officers of the Commission by allowing them to view any document, record or accounts of the operator containing prescribed information.

Failure to comply may result in a breach of the Betting Control Act 1954.

The information is required to evaluate WA racing programs, assess the profitability and revenue generation of specific race types, maximise revenue returns and distribution back to the racing industry and detect any abnormal wagering activity and thus protect the integrity and reputation of the WA racing industry.

The information received by the Commission for the above purposes, is provided in a summary or statistical format to RWWA and does not directly associate the betting operator with the data.

Racing Bets Levy lodgement guide

A WA Race Fields return form must be submitted to the Commission within 14 days of the end of each calendar month together with payment of the relevant levy.

Racing calendar

The annual racing calendar is updated on a regular basis by RWWA. Please check on a regular basis to ensure you have the latest version of the calendar.

Annual audited return

Regulation 110 of the Betting Control Regulations 1978 requires that an annual return covering the period 1 August to 31 July must be completed and independently audited by a qualified auditor. The return must be submitted to the Commission by 30 August each year and specify the total amount of betting turnover on WA races and the total amount of levy paid on those bets (excluding GST) for each month.

A blank return will be sent out to all betting operators in mid-July. Please refer to WA Race Fields Racing Bets Levy lodgement guide.

Gaming and Wagering Commission Policy

The Commission’s policy on WA Race Fields sets out the requirements of betting operators who use or publish WA race fields as part of their wagering operations.

More information

Strategic Regulation Branch
Regulatory Services Division

Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
Gordon Stephenson House Level 2 140 William Street Perth WA 6000

Email rgl@dlgsc.wa.gov.au
Telephone 61 8 6551 4888

Gaming and Wagering Commission
PO Box 8349
Perth Business Centre
WA 6849

Page reviewed 15 July 2020