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We asked Bruce Houston, General Manager Operations of TABQ about the effect of the merger with SATAB which takes effect in January 2002.

1) Will the addition of SATAB pools allow for the coverage of Saturday NSW and Victorian provincial meetings?
2) Will the additional turnover allow for the coverage of additional Queensland meetings?
3) Has there been any move to eliminate the unfair rounding down of dividends?
4) The present internet site (netbet) has been found in our tests to be the best in Australia. But there seems to be a restriction in bet sizes. A punetre betting say $17 has to bet $10, $5 and $2 in the drop down box. (We noted here that the drop down box does not cover all possible bet sizes)

Here are the replies from Mr Houston which we note were delivered to us promptly.

1. The SA acquisition is not planned to take effect until January 2002. As this date approaches we will make a call about including additional meetings on Saturdays such as NSW and Vic provincial. Until then, we do not have plans to add them to QNTAB's Saturday schedule.
2. We have no plans to add any additional QLD meetings on Saturday.
3. Our dividend calculation is now on the same basis as the other pooling systems (we assume Bruce refers to the other TAB's which all round down only). We do plan to alter this. (If this were to happen e.g. round up or down to the nearest as is fair retail practice, QTAB would become the source of the best place dividends in Australia)
4. A Netbet punter can type in $17 in the bet box. They do not have to rely on the set figures in the drop down box.

Readers interested in our survey of the Internet betting sites currently available can do so by clicking here. We feel that QNTAB's netbet software is the best available and with the increase in the size of their pools in January, will be the best value TAB in Australia.

We are heartened by Bruce Houston's suggestion that the dividend calculation for QNTAB will be altered. If this happens and place dividends can be rounded up as well as down, the QNTAB will attract mammoth business as for the first time punters will get a fair deal and QNTAB will more than make up for any loss of revenue by getting increased turnover and profits.

In the past, other TABs have temporarily reduced takeouts to attract extra business but this has not really worked for that very reason. Temporary. The small players wont be swayed by a few extra cents in their place dividends but the big players who have deserted the TAB in recent years, will.

It is our opinion, from our various discussions with Racing ministers and TAB administrators over the years, that they mostly have no idea about what punters want. We respect that people like Bruce Houston are obviously prepared to take notice.

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