Page title

Intro

Effective date: 11 March 2010
Last amended: 26 February 2019
Next review: 26 February 2021

Disclaimer

This policy is designed to provide information in regard to the subject matter covered, and with the understanding that the Gaming and Wagering Commission is not passing legal opinion or interpretation or other professional advice. The information is provided on the understanding that all persons undertake responsibility for assessing the relevance and accuracy of its contents.

Purpose

The purpose of this policy is to describe the requirements of betting operators who use or publish WA race fields as part of their wagering operations.

Legislative basis

The racing bets levy scheme is achieved through the Betting Control Act 1954, the Racing Bets Levy Act 2009, the Betting Control Regulations 1978 and the Racing Bets Levy Regulations 2009.

Approval to use WA Race Fields

Under section 14A(2)(b) and 27D(4A) of the Betting Control Act 1954 (“the Act”), the use of Western Australian race fields is subject to the payment of a racing bets levy and the provision of prescribed information. Betting operators who are licensed in Australia are automatically entitled to use/publish WA race fields under this legislation, subject to the provision of prescribed information and payment of the racing bets levy to the Gaming and Wagering Commission.

Section 27D(2A)(b) of the Act requires offshore betting operators to seek approval from the Gaming and Wagering Commission in order to use/publish WA race fields. The application form can be downloaded or is available from the department.

Racing Bets Levy

The racing bets levy regime came into effect from 1 September 2008 and there have been various rates and methods of payment since that time. The current levy regime, which came into effect from 1 August 2018, is a differential racing bets levy structure in which a base rate levy of 1% is charged for all turnover up to and including $3,000,000. Thereafter, standard race meeting and premium race meting 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.

Premium race meetings are defined in the regulations on the basis of the value of stake money on offer, as follows:

  • 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.

Turnover

Turnover is defined under section 14A(1) of the Act as:

turnover means:

  1. in relation to a domestic betting operator or offshore betting operator – the total amount of racing bets placed with the operator, less the amount of bet backs placed by the operator;
  2. in relation to a betting exchange – the net winnings of racing bets placed with the betting exchange.”

A bet back is defined in section 14A(1) of the Act as:

“bet back means a bet placed with a domestic betting operator, or the operator of a betting exchange, if the bet is placed:

  1. (a) for the purpose of reducing the liability of another domestic betting operator; and
  2. (b) by that other domestic betting operator”.

Turnover:

  1. is not reduced by:
    1. rebates paid to customers or discounts offered to customers;
    2. any amounts paid to commission agents;
    3. bad sales;
    4. bad debts, errors and customer claims;
  2. excludes jackpots (transferred from other pools) and any amounts added (seeded) to the pools by the Wagering Operator;
  3. includes the value of free bets;
  4. in the case of doubles bets and multi bets, add to turnover the proportion of the amount bet equivalent to the proportion of the bet placed on WA races (ie. if one of two legs is a WA race, then 50% of the value of the bet is attributed to WA turnover);
  5. in the case of an all-up bet each leg of the all-up is a separate bet. Therefore, turnover should be recorded for each separate transaction as each leg is resulted;
  6. any bets placed that cross a reporting period are to be apportioned as they relate to each reporting period.

Gross revenue

Gross revenue is defined under section 14A(1) of the Act as:

“gross revenue means:

  1. in relation to a domestic betting operator or offshore betting operator – the turnover of the operator, less any dividends to customers by the operator on racing bets;
  2. 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”.

Therefore, gross revenue in relation to a domestic or offshore betting operator includes the income derived from betting on races conducted in WA, whether placed with or through the betting operator, less the amounts payable in respect of winning bets, with any other costs incurred by the betting operator not being deductible. The derived income includes any commissions or fees charged in relation to the bets or winnings and unclaimed dividends will also form part of the betting operator’s gross revenue.

Gross revenue is not reduced by any betting tax, GST or pooling fees paid. Essentially, gross revenue is defined as turnover less winnings paid.

For betting exchanges, gross revenue is effectively the commissions taken from the customer’s net winnings on a market.

Prescribed information requirements

In addition to the levy, betting operators must supply ‘prescribed information’ on betting transactions conducted on WA races to the Gaming and Wagering Commission, under section 27D(4A) of the Act. Regulations 103 and 106 of the Betting Control Regulations 1978 (“the regulations”) define prescribed information as information in documents, records or accounts relating to racing bets placed with or placed or accepted through, a betting operator.

Under regulations 104-108, betting operators must comply with the Chief Steward of RWWA and authorised officers of the Gaming and Wagering Commission by allowing them to:

  • view any document, record or accounts of the operator containing prescribed information;
  • provide them with a copy of any document, record or accounts containing the prescribed information; and
  • where possible, provide real time access to betting systems.

Section 27E(3) of the Act requires that the information be provided to RWWA in a summary or statistical format and that it does not directly associate the betting operator with the data.

WA Race Fields return

The legislation requires that all betting operators who publish/use WA races, to lodge a monthly race fields return (and pay the racing bets levy) within 14 days of the end of each month. The return must be completed in a form approved by the Commission under section 14A(2)(a) of the Act. In this regard, the return can be submitted via the online system (available by accessing the RGL website) or on a manual form, available by contacting the department. The information required in the return includes:

  • Race meeting date
  • Race code (i.e. thoroughbreds, harness or greyhounds)
  • Race club conducting meeting
  • Race number
  • Total bets taken through each sales channel (i.e. on-course, telephone, internet and retail)
  • Total amount of bets taken
  • Total amount of pay-outs

Payment methods

Once the levy is calculated, payment can be made using the following methods:

  • BPay; Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT); Credit/debit card (either online or by printing a remittance slip and posting the details); Cheque/Money order and Cash.

Annual audited return

Regulation 110 of the regulations requires that an annual, audited return completed independently by a qualified auditor1, covering the previous race year (1 August-31 July) be submitted to the Gaming and Wagering Commission by 30 August each year. This return must specify the total amount of turnover on WA races and, the total amount of levy paid on those bets (excluding GST) for each month.

Betting operators may be granted an exemption from this requirement, if they meet the following criteria:

  • total turnover for WA races is less than $50,000 per annum; and
  • total turnover for WA races is less than 10% of the operator’s total annual turnover.

Betting operators must write to the Gaming and Wagering Commission to request an exemption and to provide details of:

  • total amount of turnover on WA races for the year;
  • the percentage of total annual turnover that applies to WA races; and
  • the reasons for the exemption request.

If required, an exemption must be sought on an annual basis.

Footnote

  1. An auditor is an individual qualified to conduct an examination of the records to form an opinion about the authenticity and correctness of such record such as an accountant.
Page reviewed 25 June 2019