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NSW Gaming and Racing Minister Richard Face is determined to fly in the face of logic and reason today (17/5/2002) at the Racing Ministers Conference in Adelaide. In NSW, Racing is stuck in the past. Not only is NSW the leader in the iniquitous rounding down of dividends that costs the ordinary TAB punters hundreds of thousands of dollars per day but it is still holding onto the idea that a minimum phone bet is $200 on Metropolitan courses.

In Queensland, that minimum has been reduced to any amount (although the QPC has yet to pass this on) and from July 1st there is no minimum on Country or Provincial tracks in Australia's best Racing State, Victoria and the Metropolitan minimum drops to $100. In the Northern Territory the minimum phone bet is $50 and to be honest, I know of few bookmakers who could handle any less.

TAB Limited, the operators of the NSWTAB have themselves refused to accept live phone bets of less than $10, preferring instead to direct punters to it's website or it's automated but treacherous computerized bet service.

Richard Face, instead of huffing and puffing and trying to make up ridiculous laws such as banning NSW punters from betting Interstate with mobile phones and banning legitimate operators from advertising in his State, should be doing something to make the TAB and NSW Racing generally, more competitive and innovative. It is not constructive to blame others success for your own failures and the failures or several successive NSW Governments of both political persuasions to do something about it.

Dear readers, you can do something about it by emailing your local Newspapers letter columns and demanding that for a start, the rounding down of dividends, should be stopped.

It has been reported that NSW Gaming and Racing Minister Richard Face would not support a National TAB pool unless there was no interstate poaching. Mr Face obviously hasn't heard about the Federal legislation banning restrictive price practices.

Each business, and a TAB is nothing but a business, as they are Australian public companies after all, is required to compete. Strangely enough they don't and perhaps that should be pointed out to Alan Fels. They do send out information on how to open an account on request but they don't actively pursue interstate customers.

Is this because they don't want new business or because they are afraid of one another? We probably wont find out but the question should be asked. I suspect that in NSW legislation exists banning interstate companies be they bookmaking companies or TABs, from advertising in NSW. Isn't that restrictive?

It all comes back to Racing NSW's poor quality product. When you think about it, what's there to protect? Why can't NSW Racing and TAB Limited come up with the goods and stop Richard Face from looking for legislative answers instead of improving the competitiveness of their own product.

We'll continue to look on but we won't hold our breath.


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