Corporate bookmakers are filtering their punters towards sports betting rather than racing due to increasing fees in the bookmaking business, according to well-known bookmaker Rob Waterhouse.

Waterhouse’s statement comes on the back of announcements made last week by the New South Wales State government that increased the ceiling of race fields fees that Racing NSW can charge.

Waterhouse said he would cut the amount of race meetings he attended and has been forced to change his business model due to the extra costs forced upon him by the State Government and Racing NSW.

“It is the punters that suffer and really they make up 99 percent of the industry,” Waterhouse told Fairfax.

“Every cost to a bookmaker or a corporate bookmaker has to be passed on to the punter and they are the ones that are paying.”

Waterhouse believes a gross profit model would benefit bookmakers and racing as it would encourage both businesses to grow and revenue to flow.

Racing NSW however see the changes as a great benefit to the industry.

“This change provides room within the legislation for Racing NSW to make effective commercial decisions, including the need to keep pace with other States that may have higher fees than NSW,” Racing NSW CEO Peter V’landys said in a statement.

Racing NSW have always insisted upon turnover based tax rather than a gross profit-based model.

The new race-fields fees charged by Racing NSW will be as follows:-

The first $5 million of NSW turnover of the wagering operator per annum – 1% (no change).

Turnover greater than $5m per annum will then be levied at:

• Totalizator Derivative bets* on Standard Race meetings – 2.5% (up from 1.5%)
• Totalizator Derivative bets* on Premium Race meetings – 3.0% (up from 2%)
• All other bet types on Premium Race Meetings – 2.5% (up from 2%)
• All other bet types on Standard Race meetings – Will remain at 1.5%

* Totalizator Derivative bets means odds derived from or contingent on totalizators operated by the various TABs (eg. Best of 3 totes). Other wagering operators using these odds (rather than generating their own odds) will attract the higher fee.