Western Australian Race Fields

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

 

Publishing or using WA Race Fields

Australian based betting operators who engage in or conduct betting on Western Australian races are authorised to publish/use Western Australian race fields, subject to:

  1. Payment of a racing bets levy to the Gaming and Wagering Commission; and
  2. Wagering operators complying with prescribed information requirements in relation to matters concerning the integrity and reputation of the racing industry.

An offshore operator will need to apply for approval to use or publish WA Race Fields.  An approval, when provided by the Minister (or delegate), does not give automatic right to wagering service providers to publish/use Western Australian race field information.  As a condition of an approval the approved provider must also enter into a commercial arrangement with Racing and Wagering Western Australia (the controlling authority) before obtaining Western Australian race field information.

Approved offshore operators will also be required to lodge the prescribed returns and make payment of a racing bets levy to the Gaming and Wagering Commission.

Race Fields Return Requirements

There are two types of returns that are required to be submitted.  There return are;-

  • a monthly return and payment of the associated levy; and
  • an audited annual return.

 

Monthly Racing Bets Levy returns

Further information regarding how to lodge returns and make payments can be found in the lodgement guide.   The guide also includes information on file layouts, the racing date calendar and the codes required for the clubs conducting the race meetings.

Racing Bets Levy lodgement guide

Racing Bets Levy rates

On 7 July 2018, changes to the Racing Bets Levy Regulations came into effect. The changes apply to all race meetings conducted on or after 1 August 2018. The new rates are as follows:

  • For turnover up to and including $3 million: 1% of turnover;

After reaching the threshold, the following rates apply:

  • Pari-mutuel bets placed on standard race meetings 1.5% of turnover.
  • Pari-mutuel bets placed on premium race meetings 2.5% of turnover.
  • Betting exchange bets placed on standard race meetings 1.5% of turnover.
  • Betting exchange bets placed on premium race meetings 2.5% of turnover.
  • Non betting exchange fixed odds bets placed on standard race meetings 2% of turnover.
  • Non betting exchange fixed odds bets placed on premium race meetings 3% of turnover.

*Aggregate turnover is calculated from 1 August to 31 July each year.

Betting operators whose turnover does not reach $1000 in any month are exempted from the requirement to pay a levy for that month. However, they are still required to lodge a return for that month.

Premium race meetings

A higher racing bets levy applies across all codes to premium race meetings once a betting operator’s turnover reaches $3 million in a racing year. Premium race meetings are defined in the Regulations on the basis of the value of stake money, as follows:

  • Thoroughbred racing – any meeting containing at least one race with stake money of $100,000.
  • Harness racing – any meeting containing at least one race with stake money of $50,000.
  • Greyhound racing – any meeting containing at least one race with stake money of $30,000.

Racing Bets Levy Distribution

All levy monies received by the Gaming and Wagering Commission are held in the Racing Bets Levy account.  The funds (with the exception of an administration fee) are distributed back to Western Australian racing clubs registered with Racing and Wagering Western Australia.

Annual return

Under regulation 110 of the Betting Control Regulations 1978, betting operators who use WA race fields as part of their betting operations, are required to submit an independently audited annual return. This return serves to verify the return information provided to the Commission on a monthly basis.

The annual return will cover the period 1 August to 31 July each year. The return must be reviewed and verified by an auditor who is independent to the betting operator (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).

The return must provide the following information for each month:

  • Total amount of turnover on racing bets for WA races;
  • Total gross revenue on racing bets for WA races; and
  • Total amount of racing bet levy paid.

Exemption

Betting operators may apply for an exemption to the requirement to lodge an annual return if they meet the following criteria:

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

If seeking an exemption, betting operators must provide the following details:

  • The 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.

A form has been developed for use when lodging an annual return.

Completed forms can be posted to the department or emailed to rgl@dlgsc.wa.gov.au

Lodgement date

Returns must be submitted to the Commission by 30 August each year.

Other prescribed information requirements

In addition to the levy and returns, betting operators must supply prescribed information on betting transactions conducted on WA races to the Gaming and Wagering 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 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.

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

This information is required in order to:

  • evaluate Western Australian 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 Gaming and Wagering 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.

Related policy

Further information regarding Race Fields requirements can be obtained from the WA Race Fields policy.

Page reviewed 30 July 2019