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Australians are increasingly using mobile phones to place bets - but fewer are taking a punt, according to a study by Australian research company Roy Morgan. Some 3.4 million Australians bet on a sporting event, horse racing, harness racing (trots), greyhound racing or some other event in the 12 months ending in March 2018, Roy Morgan said in figures released on Monday. That figure was down from more than 3.7 million Australians six years ago.  More than one-third of Australians (34.1%), make their bet using the Internet compared to 15.7% six years ago. Tabcorp Holdings was used by 17.4% of bettors, while Sportsbet.com.au was second with 12.9% of users. Crownbet had 6.5% of users. While fewer Australians are gambling, those who do place a bet are using their mobile devices more often. "The growth is clearly being driven by the increasing use of mobile phones to place bets," Roy Morgan said, adding that 22.7% use their mobile phone now compared to 5.6% in 2012.  Most bets are not placed online, however. “A majority of Australians who bet still don’t bet via the Internet. Over two-fifths of Australians who bet have not used the Internet to place a bet and these are the key market companies offering online betting need to target to grow their revenue," Michele Levine, CEO of Roy Morgan, said in a statement after the results were released. The Australian market has significantly changed over the years.  Tabcorp merged with Tatts Group in late 2017, Sportsbet was bought by the Irish Paddy Power Betfair, and 80% of Crownbet was acquired by the Canadian gaming company, the Stars Group, in March.  By Nicole Gheller Reprinted with permission of The Gambling Insider 

New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) has today welcomed the appointment of an offshore betting working group announced by the Minister for Racing, Nathan Guy. NZRB Chair Glenda Hughes says "This is a positive step towards what has been a long-standing issue for New Zealand's racing industry and we look forward to seeing progress made on combatting the increasing impact of off-shore betting in New Zealand." New Zealand is unique in that all of the NZRB's profits are returned to the racing and sports industries. However, it is estimated that New Zealanders bet up to $300 million per year with overseas agencies that do not contribute to those industries, or are subject to the same responsibilities as NZRB. "Our industry works hard to provide quality racing and sport that is enjoyed around the world, but there is a problem when it does not get a fair return on its investment as a result of betting taking place offshore," says Hughes. Hughes commented that the rise of digital business has heightened the issue, further increasing the need for Government action. "International corporate bookmakers are increasingly taking bets on our domestic product without any benefit flowing back into the New Zealand racing industry, and without being subject to the same fees and taxes as NZRB. We would like to see a level playing field, where all betting placed on New Zealand racing results in an appropriate contribution back to support the development and growth of this industry. "This is a complex issue experienced the world over, with the likes of United Kingdom, Ireland, Italy, France, Australia and Singapore all recently taking action," added Hughes. In the 2013/14 financial year, the three racing codes - thoroughbred, harness and greyhound - received $134.1 million in distributions. National Sporting Organisations received $5.0 million. Olivia Kinley Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board

Boom local Guaranteed is now a clear favourite for Victorian harness racing’s two biggest events. Following a weekend of impressive wins and questions raised, Guaranteed is topping TAB’s Fixed Odds markets for the Victoria and A G Hunter Cup. The Emma Stewart/Clayton Tonkin-trained stallion is $5 for the Victoria Cup, which is scheduled to be conducted at Tabcorp Park Melton on January 31. Guaranteed was $6 when markets opened last month, with Beautide favourite at $4. Beautide is now on the fourth line of betting at $7 after being scratched from last Saturday night’s Bendigo Cup. The James Rattray-trained gelding hasn’t races since his second behind Christen Me in the Miracle Mile last November. Beautide was also nominated for the Ballarat Cup on December 13, but Rattray elected not to accept due to a setback. An ultra-impressive winner of Saturday night’s Bendigo Cup, Christen Me is at $5.50 along with Philadelphia Man – a stablemate of Guranteed – which has come in from $10. Although he hasn’t raced since beating Guaranteed in the Vicbred Final last July, Lennytheshark has been a surprise market mover on the strength of his strong tial. A member of the David Aiken stable, Lennytheshark’s quote has come in from $31 to $21. Beautide was also the early favourite for the Hunter Cup on February 7, but Rattray decided to bypass the event when it became obvious the son of Bettors Delight wouldn’t meet the conditions. To qualify for the time-honoured event, candidates must have completed a satisfactory standing start under race conditions. Beautide hasn’t raced from behind the tapes since April 2013. Originally posted at $6, along with New Zealand mare, Adore Me, Guranteed is a clear favourite at $4.50, with Adore Me next at $5.50 for trainer Mark Purdon. Christen Me and Terror To Love are at $6, with Philadelphia Man on $9. Following his demolition of yesterday’s Hamilton Cup field, proven campaigner, Restrepo, has been the biggest market mover. Also hailing from the Stewart/Tonkin camp, Restrepo had his price slashed from $21 to $12, giving the power couple three of the top six Hunter Cup prospects. There have been several adjustments over the past few days the most notable being Restrepo which firmed from $21 to $12 for the stand-start Hunter Cup following his impressive win in the Hamilton Pacing Cup today. He remains at $21 for the Victoria Cup (unchanged). PAUL COURTS

Today’s TAB.com.au Summer of Glory launch at Zinc in Melbourne’s CBD will forever change the way Harness Racing Victoria approaches its summer jewels – the Victoria and Hunter Cups. A two-night harness racing spectacular has been revealed, to be hosted at Tabcorp Park Melton on Saturday January 31 (TAB Victoria Cup night) and Saturday February 7 (Del-Re National Food Group Hunter Cup night), with over $1.4 million in stakemoney to be awarded over 20 races. But just as important as the Summer of Glory carnival itself was the announcement of an early nominations cut-off date of December 19 for the Victorian and Hunter Cups, which allows HRV’s wagering partner, TAB.com.au, to run futures markets on the two cup races. This opens up enormous promotional opportunities for the Summer of Glory carnival, with all races between December 19 and the Victoria and Hunter Cups potentially impacting long-term markets. “This announcement allows the TAB to set fixed odds markets on the Victoria and Hunter Cup well ahead of time, generating discussion on social media and across traditional forms of media for weeks in the lead-up to the events,” HRV Marketing Manager Brett Boyd said. “Every time a race is run from December 19 involving horses that are nominated for the Hunter Cup or the Victoria Cup, those two big races can be mentioned, because the results of all races can have an impact on the fixed odds markets.” HRV Chief Operating Officer Brant Dunshea said adjusting the nomination dates was an important step in embracing the changing wagering landscape. “The changes were made to facilitate wagering on early fixed odds markets,” Dunshea said. “The growth of fixed odds is becoming more and more significant in the wagering landscape. “These changes also allow for the opportunity to promote these races through the media as the markets adjust.” HRV Communications and Media Manager Cody Winnell said fixed odds markets would secure harness racing more media exposure. “This announcement will help generate conversation about harness racing and that can only benefit the industry,” he said. “We need to have our product front and centre in what is a competitive sporting media landscape here in Victoria. The conversation that comes with fixed odds betting will help facilitate this.” There is no fee for owners to nominate horses for the Victoria or Hunter Cup before December 19. Further details to the conditions are available on Harness Racing Australia’s Industry News page. Harness Racing Victoria

An 80 year old Masterton man who "bets to keep his brain active" has scored big, taking home more than $110,000 on a $5 bet. The punter chose an eight leg Multi, correctly picking the winners of eight races at the Christchurch Greyhounds last night. He collected $111,565 at odds of 22,113 to 1. "I'm in the industry, I race a few dogs and I've been betting since the legal age," says the man who does not want to be identified. "I pick my own bets and study the form to keep me sharp." The punter says he won $11,000 ten years ago, but this is his first big win. He recently came out of hospital and says he's going to spend some of the cash buying his kids a nice Christmas present. How he did it: $5 Multi on 8 legs at Christchurch greyhounds, Thursday 4th September R2 Sozin's Comet $2.60 R4 Spud Gun $3 R5 Adroit $12 R6 Laredo $5 R8 Little Regus $3.50 R9 Dream Collector $1.40 R10 Cawbourne Queen $3 R11 Fast Archer $3 RETURN = $110,565 Odds of 22,113 to 1   Kate Gourdie Manager, Media and Corporate Communications New Zealand Racing Board

TAB odds-makers lure in punters with the promo slogan: "You know the odds, now beat them". But less than three months before New Zealand's biggest betting day - the November 4 running of the Melbourne Cup - they have cracked down on a Kiwi punter who has excelled at doing just that. TAB executive general manager Glenn Patrick recently wrote to Christchurch man Graham Beirne that the betting agency was losing "a significant amount of money" on his fixed odds betting, so it had to adjust the amount of money he could win. In a move which the 67-year-old hit out at, he can now not win any more than $2000 on a win or place bet, and cannot win any more than $2000 even on a combination multi. He must also place all his bets by 9.30am on respective race days. "It's more like, ‘You know the odds, now beat them. But if you do, we'll cut you'," a fuming Beirne said. "On the one hand they're complaining about leakage - don't bet overseas, they say, but you can only back losers in New Zealand - ‘You can play in our sand pit but only if you lose'." Beirne owned Kate's First when it won the 1997 Auckland Cup. He has been a passionate supporter of harness racing for more than 50 years. But the TAB's stance had him questioning his future support for the industry in New Zealand. "I put $1 million into the industry every year through 25 racehorses, plus broodmares and sponsorship, but I'm at the point of thinking of selling the lot and going and playing bridge," he said. He added in a written response to Patrick and the TAB: "The owners that continue to race horses are supplying the product for your customers to generate turnover. Have you also considered that while my past betting has cost you money on fixed odds, every time I line up a horse in a race it is making you money on the tote? "No doubt you also have other large winning customers but how many of these people contribute product for your customers to be on to the degree that I do? I would suggest none." Beirne had offered a compromise over betting limits, but the TAB had rejected it, he said. Patrick told the Sunday Star-Times it was standard practice around the world for corporate bookmakers to restrict winning punters. He believed the way the TAB was treating Beirne was fair and reasonable. He would not confirm how many other punters had similar restrictions. "One of our objectives under the Racing Act is to maintain a profitable wagering system and we need to take that obligation seriously," he said. "There will be clients who have better information than us, or who are better than us, that we will need to put limits on." Courtesy of Barry Lichter - Sunday Star Times

The former banker who has just resigned as head of the Racing Board has proposed the Government introduce laws to help stem ‘‘leakage’’ to Australian  bookmakers.   New Zealand does not officially have a competitive bookmaking market with the TAB, owned by the NZRB, a statutory monopoly. But plenty of Kiwi punters place bets online with overseas bookies. How much is unknown but it’s estimated as high as $300 million to $400m a year.  NZRB chief executive Chris Bayliss resigned last week after two years in the job but prior to his resignation Bayliss said the TAB had been working with the Government on amending legislation so that overseas bookmakers using New Zealand product, racing or sport, would have to be licensed here. Part of the licensing requirement would be to pay GST and also the levies that the TAB has to pay. The TAB’s overseas rivals can offer better odds because they don’t incur these costs. The State of Origin rugby league game on May 28 highlighted the differences.   The TAB odds offered on Queensland to win were 2.70 (ie $2.70 back for every $1 bet), compared to 3.00 at Sportsbet, and 3.15 at Centrebet, both Australian betting websites. That’s unfair competition said  Bayliss, especially as the TAB has a large retail store base to operate,  versus  online-only overseas bookmakers.  Bayliss said around 80 per cent of the money is flowing into betting companies like Sportsbet and Centrebet, domiciled in Australia’s Northern Territories. He believed their chief executives would comply with new laws. ‘‘All we can do is have the legislation, and make the large corporates aware that it exists. I think the large corporates will embrace it.’’ Previously some had suggested following the Australian example of a 1.5 per cent ‘‘product fee’’ on bets taken on New Zealand sports by overseas bookmakers, assuming they could be forced to pay. But for an organisation that makes a profit of $140m, 1.5 per cent of $300m is a ‘‘rounding error’’.   Bayliss wanted to level the playing field so Kiwis won’t get better odds overseas. ‘‘If Kiwis no longer want to bet with overseas bookmakers because the odds aren’t better.. . ’’ Bayliss mused. ‘‘My net profit is 10 per cent. $30m is a game-changer.’’ The racing industry misguidedly believed that Government should build a digital wall around New Zealand, and start blocking overseas web-betting services, as well as following the likes of Hong Kong, making it illegal for banks and credit card companies to process payments to overseas bookmakers. Not all of the leakage is to do with the better odds. TAB has been slow to adapt. It has only just started streaming events online, and finally launched a functioning smartphone betting app to cash in on the football World Cup.   ‘‘Licensed bookmakers’ betting patterns could be more easily scrutinised if they were licensed’’, Bayliss said.   Bayliss said he had ‘‘ongoing dialogue’’ with Racing Minister Nathan Guy and he expected progress on the issue in the next 12 to 18 months. But the minister wouldn’t be drawn on whether Baylis’s proposal will get the nod. ‘‘Leakage is an important issue for the local racing industry and I’ve been discussing it with industry leaders,’’ Guy said. ‘‘It’s a complicated issue and will take some time to work up some options.’’   By Rob Stock   Reprinted with permission of The Sunday Star Times

King Denny may have been beaten by his former stablemate Twentyten in last week’s Sires Stakes Championship but the All Stars team are confident that NZ Trotting Derby winner can once again turn the tables on him in the $80,000 Breckon Farms Trotting Derby at Alexandra Park on Friday. ”Dad (Mark Purdon) had someone go over him after last week and he was found to be really sore so he has had a lot of work done on him and seems back on track for this week,” advised Nathan Purdon. King Denny’s shot at dual Derby glory has been made a lot easier by the defection of Majestic Time, who was scratched from the Group One feature this morning after she failed to handle the Alexandra Park track last week. “She didn’t handle Alexandra Park right-handed track last week but she will be at the Jewels were the track will suit her a lot better,” trainer Michael Ward told HRNZ’S Michael Guerin. King Denny has been installed as a $3 favourite for the Derby by NZ TAB Bookmakers, while One Over Da Moon, who will race with a new bit and a pole on the outside on Friday, is the $3.20 second favourite. The Trotting Derby is just of six feature races the All Stars team will contest over the weekend. “Linda Lovegrace, Border Control, and Alta Orlando also look to have good chances in their respective features so with a bit of luck it could be a very good week,” said Purdon Jnr. By Mitchell Robertson  

LONGFORD trainer Barrie Rattray celebrated his first Carrick Cup win in over 20 years when his consistent four-year-old Devendra powered home to win the Centenary Carrick Cup over 2650 metres yesterday. Devendra was allowed to settle at the rear of the field by the trainer’s son Todd Rattray but when he set the gelding alight in the back straight the last time he loomed as the winner turning for home and delivered the goods at the business end of the race. The trainer wasn’t at Carrick to see the race because he was busy at Menangle in Sydney waiting for Beautide to deliver a result in a heat of the 2014 Inter Dominion. About an hour after Devendra emerged triumphant, Beautide finished second in his heat to secure a berth in the Inter Dominion final. Devendra was well backed to start the $2.60 favourite with the four bookmakers who made the betting ring look something like the halcyon days. A huge crowd gathered at the Carrick Paceway for the club’s centenary meeting that boasted nine races with entertainment after the last race ensuring the celebrations carried on into the night. Peter Staples

The following is an extract from the CEO's Note that appeared in the recent edition of the monthly HRNSW industry magazine which may contain broader points of interest. In recent weeks I have received an increasing number of questions relating to turnover on our product. For a long period of time the barometer for wagering has been the volume of money in the NSW TAB win pool. This has changed and continues to evolve. It has changed predominantly for two reasons; the first is the seismic shift to fixed odds which doesn't show up in the pari-mutuel pool and the second is the migration to corporate bookmakers and betting exchanges. The fixed odds offering (through Tabcorp) has been a revelation. On one level the huge explosion in racing content as a result of Sky 2 resulted in diminishing average pari-mutuel pools because the same volume of money was being spread across more races. As a result large bets were having a greater influence on tote prices creating wild fluctuations, especially on the minor codes. Punters can now lock in their price and it is becoming a growing customer preference. To provide the necessary perspective, fixed odds currently represents 30% of the total turnover on NSW harness racing through the NSW TAB. As fixed odds is essentially a win and place offering the impact on the pari-mutuel win pool is unmistakable. When analysing the wagering landscape further, two-thirds of turnover on NSW harness racing is through the various totes with NSW being the largest contributor at just under 50%. VicTab follows with approximately 23%. Those figures are inclusive of both pari-mutuel and fixed odds betting. The remaining one-third is wagered through Betfair and corporate bookmakers. Sportsbet is clearly the largest of our corporate bookmakers and, combined with Betfair, generates more than 40% of the turnover on NSW harness racing from this sector. Sportingbet and Centrebet, although separate entities, are owned by the same company and are responsible for a further 18-20% of turnover. Although much smaller in terms of total betting (on NSW harness), a couple of the newer players in the market such as Bet365 and Ladbrokes (AKA Bookmaker) are producing very strong growth in their year on year figures. Since the finalisation of the Race Fields litigation HRNSW has initiated regular meetings with our wagering partners. These occur on two levels. Firstly through the finance department to ensure compliance and secondly though me to discuss strategy. In recent meetings with executives from Betfair and Sportsbet, both were extremely positive about our product and how pivotal it is to their overall business. So while some sectors continue to talk down our industry, the message I'm receiving from our leading wagering partners is very different. It is an absolute fact that, strictly speaking, returns to the NSW racing industry from the NSW TAB are higher per dollar than from corporate bookmakers and Betfair, however the argument is much more complex and one that has largely become irrelevant. Race Fields fees are 1.5% of all turnover which increases to 2% for our premium meetings. To tie this data together, what does the original "vital" NSW TAB win pool KPI referred to at the start now represent? You can apply a general rule of thumb that whatever money is in the NSW TAB pari-mutuel win pool equates to approximately 10% of the total turnover on the race across all of our licensed wagering operators. So, for example, if the NSW TAB pari-mutuel win pool is $20,000 on a particular race then it's likely that around $200,000 has been bet in total and potentially more in the case of exotic pool jackpots. These numbers don't even include the New Zealand TAB and other international operators. To illustrate the point with a live example, at the recent Miracle Mile meeting, $501,000 was invested into the NSW TAB pari-mutuel win pools across the 10 races, which historically would be considered disappointing, but when compared to the total wagered across all bet types and operators of $5.6 million it represents only 8.9%. For the record, our highest grossing turnover meeting across all wagering operators since collating such data was the Inter Dominion in March where $9 million was invested. Nancy O'Grady    

Chris Bayliss has no idea how to price a horse at the races but held betting slips totalling nearly $2 billion across every sporting event last year. Arguably the former banker turned New Zealand Racing Board head is the country's biggest punter, but running the institution charged with operating the TAB in New Zealand has killed sport for him. "Because now I always know our position, so I can watch sport with my heart, or I can watch it with my brain," Bayliss said. "It is terrible watching the All Blacks, wanting them to lose." Spending at the TAB ran away to a record $1.957b for the year ended July 31, 2013 - roughly 1 per cent of New Zealand's gross domestic product. In October the board, which was established under the Racing Act to run the TAB in New Zealand, announced a net profit of $144.1 million. For Bayliss, who is 17 months into his role as chief executive of the New Zealand Racing Board, this basically means he held a $1.957b betting slip last year. "I've always got a massive bet on every sporting event, a lot more than most Kiwis have got. "This job kills any enjoyment that you used to have of sport." Bayliss is British but has lived in New Zealand for ten years, and said he never imagined he would be in charge of the 62-year-old New Zealand Racing Board. He said he cheers for the All Blacks against England and enjoys watching the Ashes test series, but has no more of an interest in sport than most. The challenge for Bayliss, however, was upgrading and improving an industry which had lost half its active punters in the past decade and is riding on systems that are like "a 20-year-old car". All this despite a year of record spending at the TAB. Bayliss said the board's challenges first sprung about a decade ago, when its turnover first nosed over the $1b line. The organisation failed to understand it had then become a large, rather than medium-sized, company, and its frameworks and procedures had struggled to adapt since. This is why Bayliss believed his 29 years of banking experience, which started when he was just 16, would provide a good return on the industry's wager. "At the end of the day, businesses of this size, agnostic of industry, are about distribution, they're about product, they're about customers. "I would have no idea how to price a horse tomorrow, but I know how a trading book in a bank works. "I know, therefore, when you trade in currencies and you're trading interest rates, it's no different to trading sport, so I know what procedures and frameworks you'd expect to have in place." The 900-person, 690-outlet organisation, which Bayliss said was the biggest retailer in the country, would "easily" rank on the NZX 20, the largest and most liquid companies on the stock exchange, if it listed tomorrow. Furthermore, it was the largest broadcaster in the country, yet somehow flew under the radar. "Everyone knows who the TAB is and everyone knows they've got one in their town. "Somehow they never think about it more than that." Bayliss's more difficult challenge is the fact that the number of active customers has dropped from more than 200,000 in 2003 to about 100,000 today. At the board's annual meeting in Wellington earlier this year, the organisation's systems were compared to a 20-year-old car. The 62-year-old NZRB took the opportunity to outline which elephants would be replaced by runaway horses. The outdated technology, a need for high-definition broadcasting and the lack of a mobile app were identified as the "elephants" at the Racing Board. About 29 per cent of its turnover was generated online, but Bayliss said poor technology had saddled it with about $300m in "leakage"; betting lost to the TAB through offshore providers. It was not illegal for New Zealanders to use overseas bookmakers but it was illegal for them to advertise here. "Our customers are ageing and we haven't been able to attract the new breed of customer, because we haven't had the infrastructure to do that." A mobile app was planned for launch ahead of the Football World Cup in Brazil, an event Bayliss expected would turn over $30m at the TAB - the same as the Rugby World Cup in 2011. Live streaming also become available last month, allowing punters to watch events from their laptop or tablet. As well as people using overseas bookmakers to bet on New Zealand sport, the "leakage" figure included betting on events the TAB did not have an offering for. People were betting on the winner of New Zealand's Got Talent and who the next prime minister would be using overseas agencies. The TAB was not legally able to offer odds on such events, because of the provisions of the Gambling Act. "Brits are interested in it and Aussies are interested in it, so why would Kiwis not be interested in it?" Bayliss said. "They're betting on it, we're just not capturing any tax." One of the board's long-term objectives is to maximise returns to the racing industry, comprising thoroughbred, harness, and greyhound racing. For the year ended July, New Zealand's racing industry gained about $142m in dividends over the year. About $5.7m was also distributed to national sports and other bodies from sports betting and gaming takings. But for the $300m leakage, everybody misses out. Most Kiwis did not appreciate the NZRB had no commercial shareholders, and every single dollar made went back into sport, he said. "They're robbing New Zealand of GST, betting duty, problem gambling levy, and most importantly, any revenue back to the industry. "It's an online world now, customers can find it, and they do." Bayliss said it would target growth in racing stakes of about 50 per cent by 2018, up to $120m. This would be harnessed by a growth in profits as well, which he hoped would hit between $160m and $180m. To do this, the Racing Board also needed to adapt the racing calendar. Bayliss said the calendar was "steeped in history". November through to the end of January was the busiest period of racing in New Zealand, but Kiwis now bet more on Australian horse, harness and greyhound racing than on domestic races. Last year's financial result had been hit by the worst rate of cancellations in a decade, as 12 race meetings were abandoned because of the drought. "It's a concern for the domestic industry; it's a concern for the gate money and the money the clubs get. "Economically I can just switch, because punters will just switch to what's on, but it's the poor clubs here that lose out." As such, the local industry should look to opportunities to capitalise on "exporting" race meetings offshore, Bayliss said. The Auckland Cup was always in March, but the Hong Kong Jockey Club, which runs betting agencies there, had told him it would be interested in the Cup if it was run in January. He expected an exported broadcast of the Auckland Cup during January would be worth about $30m in turnover, the same as the Melbourne Cup - by far the TAB's largest trading day. Sydney bookies were also desperate for content at 10am, when no other sport was on. "That would only mean moving races forward an hour. "It's getting the constituency to understand there's a big world out there, we've got a great product and we've got a time zone we don't think about strategically." Bayliss said it would also look to gain more access to the world's VIP punters to further add to the growth of the betting industry. It was reputed about a dozen customers around the world spent more than $100m a year on betting, of which every betting agency courted a couple. The NZRB did not want them all, Bayliss said, because then half its turnover would be exposed to just 12 customers. But it had a prudential limit in place which included "an appetite to grow these by a couple". For the six months to January 31, 2012, nearly $800m was spent on racing bets alone, compared with sports betting of about $120m. But Bayliss said the sport pool was growing at about 30 per cent a year. Overall tipping would "certainly" be above $2b next year, he said. The 2013 financial year had been the first in many without a marquee sporting event, such as a world cup. He said the America's Cup had received over $1m in bets, and represented the sort of sport the TAB could garner more growth from. "Generally if there's a sport, there are customers that want to bet on it." He expected the growth would come from a younger audience, sitting around a TV watching the All Blacks, having a bet on who was going to score the first try. "Let's just put $10 on it, I'm not going to fall out with my wife, I haven't spent the grocery bill, put $10 on and four or five of your mates all decide we're going to put a different person. "Your enjoyment and excitement in that game, believe me, has exponentially increased." That is, unless you've got $2b riding on it. FAVOURITE FLUTTERS Sport 1. Basketball 2. Rugby Union 3. Rugby League 4. Football 5. Tennis 6. Cricket 7. Baseball 8. American Football 9. Golf 10. Ice Hockey Events Rugby World Cup, 2011 – $30m Melbourne Cup – $30m America's Cup – $1m  by Hamish McNichol reprinted with permission by www.stuff.co.nz and Fairfax NZ News

SA riders to go the full Monte.   South Australia is well represented in the Alderbaren Park Nation Monte final at Melton on Saturday night with four horses engaged the Lance Holberton trained pair Like A Playboy with experienced Monte ridder Mary Crosby in the saddle & Telern Tiger for Jamie-Lee KIng are joined by Chuck Wagon with Megan Gee on board and first emergency Earl of Stanton to be ridden by  Gina Bell.   The Monte final is worth $14,000 with heats having been run at Bankstown , Ballarat, Bendigo and Betezy Park Globe Derby.   Big Weekend at Headquarters   Three meeting over the weekend at Betezy Park Globe Derby unfortunately both Friday andSaturday’s meeting are only being covered by Sky 2   Friday night the feature on an eight event program is race 5 in which  up and coming pacer Harrison Maguire looks a standout in , he has been racing superb form of late having finished runner up at his past two in strong FFA grade behind Timeless Era in the Itialian Cup and Mark Dennis. He was a winner at his previous three runs before.   Saturday Strathalbyn club will host the meeting at headquarters the first two races look interesting with the promising Lord Manaloo who has been in good for since returning from a spell lookis the one to beat in the opening race while Forty Seven Flash who has returned to  the track in blister for dispite his outside draw looks the one to beat in race two.   Monday we have another seven event program with the first race scheduled for 2.25   Fixed Odds betting.   While there has been some negative about the holdings on the para mutual from last Saturday night’s  meeting at Betezy Park Globe Derby which were poor with only one race holding over $10,000 and while there is no figures out yet on what was held on the first night of Fixed Odds betting, there certainly was some positives with a large crowd on course and the return of some professional punter back to the track.   Surely this is a good sign for all concerned! HRSA has fought hard to get Fixed Odd betting on South Australian harness racing for some time and if it means putters bet with Tattsbet in which the money stays in this state rather than betting on Super TAB or corporate bookmakers both of whom have been fielding on SA trots for some time.   Whyalla Cup now Sunday 29th December.   The Whyalla Club has decided to move its Cup meeting to Sunday 29th December, in lieu of the Australia day weekend. The move follows discussions with both Victor Harbor & Whyalla to “separate” the Cups for the 2013-14 season. Whyalla has agreed to the Christmas week date and hopes that the new slot will add to the success of the meeting held last January.   The Whyalla Cup will again carry prizemoney of $10,000 and is a C5 or better mobile start event run over 2320m. As a mobile event, it will be an important lead-up event to the Betezy.com.au SA Cup. Trainers thinking of travelling to Whyalla are reminded that prizemoney will be paid back to last for the Cup.   Also featuring on the program will be $2300 C1 heats with a $4,000 final at Port Pirie the following Friday; heats will carry a graduation (R) penalty. SA BOTRA are also providing bonuses at the Cup meetings again for BOTRA members. The R0 at the Whyalla meeting will carry a $500 BOTRA member’s bonus.   The meeting will have full TAB & Sky Racing coverage; it is a twilight fixture, with the first race at 5.15pm and the last of seven races at 7.51pm.   By Gary Newton

Young reinsman Chris Voak stands by his claim that Leda McNally has the quickest turn of foot of any mare in Australia and is bubbling with confidence that the five-year-old will prove too speedy for her rivals in the $100,000 Make Smoking History Mares Classic at Gloucester Park on Friday night. A win in the group 1 feature event over 2130m would help Voak and Pinjarra trainer Chris King to overcome the trauma they experienced 12 months ago when Leda McNally met with interference in the home straight and finished fourth in the inaugural Mares Classic. Voak had Leda McNally poised to strike in the one-out, one-back position for most of the way and she was unwinding a spirited burst when Kamwood Laughter ran out under pressure and her off-side sulky wheel became locked with the near-side wheel of Leda McNally’s sulky. This caused Leda McNally to lose her momentum and she finished fourth behind the pacemaker and 6/4 on favourite Baby Bling. Voak lodged a protest and the stewards upheld the objection and elevated Leda McNally to third place. Leda McNally was a 50/1 outsider with bookmakers and a 65/1 chance on the tote. But this week she will be one of the favourites with Bettor Cover Lover, Famous Alchemist, Loving You, Sensational Gabby and Askmenow. Leda McNally is in superb form and has scored impressive victories at her past two starts, both over 1730m and rating a sizzling 1.54.3 in each event. Voak said that the extra journey of 2130m this Friday night would not trouble the brilliant Victorian-bred mare. Two starts ago Leda McNally revealed her normal sparkling gate speed when she set the pace and won convincingly from deluxe Edition and famous Alchemist. She started from the No. 4 barrier in the Norms Daughter Classic last Friday night when she raced in sixth position in the one-wide line before sprinting home brilliantly to get up and defeat Famous Alchemist by a head, with Bettor Cover Lover a gallant third after working hard outside the pacemaker Askmenow. Leda McNally will start from the No. 5 barrier on the front line this week and Voak is expected to get her away speedily in a bid to take up an advantageous position in the one-wide line. He could even be tempted to make a bid for the early lead. But this could prove to be an unwise strategy, considering that speedy beginner and noted frontrunner Loving You has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier. This is a major advantage for Loving You, a smart four-year-old to be driven by Shannon Suvaljko for trainer Peter Tilbrook. Loving You was a 72/1 tote outsider in the Norms Daughter Classic last Friday night when she started from the outside of the back line. She fought on from seventh at the bell to finish sixth. Loving You will be at much shorter odds this week and is a realistic chance, even though she is only on an M1 mark, while Leda McNally has a M8 classification and Bettor Cover Lover is on an M6 mark. Famous Alchemist, Sensational Gabby, Lucie Boshier and Miss Azooma have all reached an M3 mark. Loving You has set the pace before winning five times. Her other two wins in a 31-start career have come after she had sat behind the pacemaker and after racing without cover. Bettor Cover Lover boasts the best record of the 12 runners, with 19 wins and 12 placings from 35 starts for earnings of $999,756. She will start from the No. 2 barrier on the back line and should settle in a favourable position for her New Zealand trainer-reinsman Brent Mangos. She looks set to fight out the finish. Leading trainer Gary Hall sen. has three runners, Famous Alchemist (Clint Hall), Askmenow (Gary Hall jun.) and Chloe Vargarita (Daniel Jack) and he would dearly love to go one better than he did when Aussie Made Lombo (Hall jun.) thundered home from tenth at the 400m and eighth on the home turn to finish a 5m second to Baby Bling 12 months ago. Famous Alchemist looks his best prospect, even though she has drawn poorly on the outside of the back line. In last week’s race Famous Alchemist trailed the pacemaker Askmenow before bursting to the front about 120m from home and being overtaken in the final stride by Leda McNally. Askmenow’s prospects on Friday night faded when she drew barrier four on the back line. Chloe Vargarita will start from the No. 3 barrier on the front line. Former star juvenile Sensational Gabby will start out wide at barrier six on the front line, but she has the natural speed to quickly get into a favourable position. She should be improved considerably by her first-up effort when eighth behind Leda McNally last Friday night. Sensational Gabby probably would have finished closer to the winner had she not become unbalanced and broke into a gallop just after leaving the back straight in the final circuit. HOWSON IS BACK AS EL MACHINE ATTEMPTS HIS FIFTH WIN IN A ROW Pinjarra trainer Kade Howson will complete a 12-day suspension at midnight on Thursday night and will be eligible to resume driving at Gloucester Park on Friday night when he has high hopes of landing the winner of the $25,000 Kersley final with up-and-coming star El Machine. When suspending Howson for causing interference in a race at Bunbury last Saturday week the stewards took into account his excellent driving record and his plea to be able to resume this Friday night in order to be in the sulky behind El Machine, a WA-bred five-year-old he trains and owns in partnership with Michael George. El Machine is one of the most improved pacers in the State and has won easily at each of his past four starts, all at Gloucester Park and all over 2130m, the distance of this week’s final. In three of those wins El Machine has produced a strong, sustained finishing burst before racing away from his rivals. He will start from barrier two on the back line on Friday night and Howson appears certain to bide his time before asking the gelding for a supreme effort in the final circuit. El Machine meets stiff opposition, including last-start winners Old McDonald, Our Major Mark and Menelaus of Sparta, who will start from the front line along with the talented Toretto, who has won in fine style at four of his past six starts. Old McDonald, trained and driven by Colin Brown, was the fastest of the three qualifying heat winners, will start out wide at the No. 6 barrier. But he has the ability to overcome this disadvantage. He started from barrier five in his heat last Friday week when he raced in fifth position in the one-wide line before storming home to beat Code Red by a neck at a 1.55.7 rate. El Machine came from eighth in the middle stages to win his heat from Pembrook Henry and Menelaus of Sparta at a 1.57.4 rate three Friday nights ago. He rated 1.58, 1.57.1 and 2.0.1 at his three previous outings and he warmed up for this week’s event by making most of the running and winning a four-horse Pinjarra trial at a 2.0.8 rate over 2185m after sprinting the final 800m in 57.3sec. Our Major Mark, trained by Greg and Skye Bond, was most impressive in his heat last Friday night when he raced without cover, took the lead 480m from home and sped over the final 400m in 27.8sec. to beat Toretto by a length at a 1.57.3 rate. He will start from the No. 5 barrier. Menelaus of Sparta, trained and driven by Brett Smith, improved his prospects when he drew the No. 2 barrier. He followed wins at Pinjarra and Northam with another victory at Northam on Tuesday night when he settled in ninth place and charged home from fifth at the bell to win from Im Elmer Fudd at a 1.59.5 rate over 2190m. The prospects of the Ross Olivieri-trained five-year-old Red Salute improved when he drew the prized No. 1 barrier. Red Salute, who has finished sound thirds at his past two outings, is a smart frontrunner who will have many admirers. MY HARD COPY HAS SOUND CLAIMS IN GOLDEN NUGGET PRELUDE Smart New Zealand-bred stallion My Hard Copy has bright prospects of clinching a place in the field to contest the $175,000 Lancaster Park Golden Nugget championship by winning the $21,000 Nugget prelude over 2130m at Gloucester park on Friday night. My Hard Copy, trained by Gary Hall sen., will start from the No. 4 barrier on the front line and Shane Butcher should have him in a prominent position throughout. The winner of the race will automatically qualify for a start in the final of the Nugget the following Friday night. My Hard Copy led briefly from the No. 1 barrier in the 2536m McInerney Ford Classic last Friday night and then trailed the pacemaker Condrieu before fighting on strongly to finish third behind the brilliant Chilli Palmer and Condrieu. Looming as the hardest for My Hard Copy to beat is his stablemate Northview Punter, who has won at 14 of his 27 appearances and has the ability to overcome the wide draw at No. 6 on the front line. He will again be driven by Gary Hall jun., who was in the sulky when he raced without cover in the second lap and then was shuffled back to eighth at the bell before finishing eighth behind Chilli Palmer last week. Northern Assassin, trained by Peter Bell, has drawn the prized No. 1 barrier on the front line, but is likely to be challenged hard for the early lead by Erskine Range (barrier two) and Adda Notherzero (No. 3). Northern Assassin won for the fifth time from 15 starts when he raced wide early and then worked hard in the breeze before winning easily from Im Riddick over 2100m at Bunbury last Saturday night. Adda Notherzero is a noted frontrunner who has set the pace in each of his four wins from 13 starts. Erskine Range also possesses good gate speed and he led from the No. 1 barrier and won from Jay Bees Grin and Loving You over 2185m at Pinjarra two starts ago before started at long odds from the outside of the back line and fought on from tenth at the bell to be seventh behind Nowitzki over 2130m last Friday week. HEEZ ORL BLACK SHOULD GET PUNTERS AWAY TO A FLYING START Harness racing buffs who watched Heez Orl Black storm home from tenth on the home turn to get up and win from Johnny Be over 2692m at Pinjarra on Monday afternoon have marked him down as a star bet in the opening event, the 1730m Make Smoking History Pace, at Gloucester Park on Friday night. And they will not be concerned that the New Zealand-bred five-year-old will be dropping back to a sprint trip because they will point out that the gelding has raced four times over 1730m at Gloucester Park for two wins (rating 1.55 and 1.57.5) and two second placings. He also won over 1684m in 1.53.4 at Pinjarra in August, and in New Zealand he was a winner over 1609m and three times over 1950m. Heez Orl Black, trained at Serpentine by Gary Hall sen., was making his first appearance for six and a half weeks when he won so brilliantly on Monday afternoon. He started from barrier three on the back line and was eighth at the bell before being shuffled back to tenth on the home turn. He then stormed home, five wide, to score most impressively. This took Heez Orl Black’s record to 12 wins and 11 placings from 47 starts for earnings of $149,510, certainly wonderful credentials for a pacer contesting a Metropolitan maiden event. Drawn inside him on Friday night are good frontrunners Imtheguy (barrier one) and At Princeton (two), but they will be hard pressed to withstand his powerful finishing burst. Soho Redford and Soho Highroller will have many admirers after each having won in good style at his past two starts. But Soho Redford faces a stern test from the outside of the front line and Soho Highroller, a stablemate of Heez Orl Black, will have to overcome the disadvantage of starting from barrier four on the back line. by Ken Casellas  

Fans of glamour pacing mare Adore Me can feel a lot better about her comeback disaster than those who backed her on Monday. Last season’s champion pacing filly completely blew the standing start of her Ashburton return and finished tailed off, costing punters a fortune. But trainer Mark Purdon says while it was a less than ideal start to the season Adore Me has taken no harm from the debacle. The four-year-old pacing sensation surprisingly finished further from the leaders than the 30m she settled after her wild early gallop, raising concerns she may have hurt herself in the incident, as her former stablemate Auckland Reactor once did during one of his crazed gallops. “The reason she finished so far back was because I didn’t chase them,” explains Mark Purdon. “Once she galloped and lost that much and they were going so hard I knew she had no chance of running in the money so I let her pace around under her own steam. “While she finished a long way from them she pulled up fine, with no injuries from the gallop and she wasn’t distressed at all. “But I won’t be looking at a standing start again with her for a while.” Adore Me’s main aim is now the two mobile mare’s races at Alexandra Park in December. She wasn’t the only expensive galloper in a pacing feature on Monday, with Christen Me’s rodeo act in the Flying Stakes costing him New Zealand Cup favouritism with the New Zealand TAB. In what seems like an odds over-reaction, the TAB moved Flying Stakes winner Terror To Love in from $2.80 to $1.80 favouritism for the Cup, whereas Christen Me drifted from $1.80 pre-race to $2.60. Australian bookmakers still have the opposite to those odds, meaning punters who think the Cup is a two-horse race can back both pacers with a guaranteed profit of 35 per cent should either win. Who starts favourite in the Cup in 13 days is likely to come down to which draws better, with either of the two big guns certain to drift if they draw the second line while the other draws the front. Meanwhile, the Australian challenge for the Cup moved a step closer to doubling in size when Caribbean Blaster won at the Melton trials yesterday. He now heads to Menangle on Saturday night for a high-class mobile mile in which he clashes with Pukekohe speedster Gold Ace. Safely through that Caribbean Blaster, who is now fourth favourite for the Cup, will fly to Christchurch with trotting stablemate Elegant Image. Northern contenders Besotted and Pembrook Benny will square off at Alexandra Park on Friday night, with Besotted needing a win and possibly some defections to earn a Cup spot. Courtesy of Michael Guerin and the New Zealand Herald

The Industry celebrated the 2012/13 season at the Victorian Industry Awards Night at Tabcorp Park on Thursday (September 12).  Congratulations to the connections of Caribbean Blaster, the Victorian Horse of the Year and Im Stately, Victorian Trotter of the Year. For the full list of winners click here.   The Year That Was The Industry Awards night was a very successful night.  Thank you to all the staff involved in the preparation for the night. In particular we thank Premier Denis Napthine for attending and delivering a stirring address. During the evening an excellent presentation was shown on the big screens entitled “The Year That Was” - voiced by Andrew Bensley and produced by Rob Gild.  I encourage you to take a few minutes to view the video by clicking here. Chris Alford What a year for Chris Alford.  Below are several stats/facts that illustrate the 2012/13 season achievements of Victoria’s superstar driver: Leading Victorian Driver with 287 wins; Leading Australian Driver with 295 wins; Drove 53 winners in the month of August, the most ever by a driver in a month, surpassing Kerryn Manning’s 48 in May 2002; Was the first person to drive the winners of the three heats of the Victoria Derby in February – Guaranteed, Lennytheshark and Macha; Has taken his overall winning tally to 4,971, closing in on being only the second driver to achieve 5,000 wins.  Gavin Lang was the first to achieve this outstanding feat. Chris is 9 years Gavin’s junior! It has been an unbelievable ride for Chris Alford since his first win on a horse called Spring Vance, trained by father Barry and part owned by yours truly, which beat favourite Victory Banner at Wangaratta back in 1984. 2012/13 Season Now that the 2012/13 season is behind us, here are some of the Victorian statistics that don’t make the headlines: 4,055 horses races; On average each horse raced 9.1 times; 823 horses earned in excess of $10,000; 20 horses earned in excess of $ 100,000; 15 drivers drove their first ever winner in a race; Top Victorian stakes earner – Caribbean Blaster - $450,000; Leading sire wins – Art Major (245 winners); Leading sire stakes – Bettors Delight ($2.25 million) Leading trotting sire – Sundon (90 wins); Second on the trotting sire list – Earl (54) who sadly passed away recently. Milestones/First Wins Rodney Petroff drove his 500th winner on Walky Talky at Ballarat on Saturday September 7; Josh Aiken drove his first winner (Chevals Racer) at Shepparton on September 11.  His father David trained a treble at the same meeting; Peter Wells became the oldest person to register a driving double.  Now in his 80th year Peter drove Dell Boy and Donkiri to victory at Ballarat on August 24.   Mildura Congratulations to the Mildura Club for increasing their contribution to stakes this season by 27% - up $30,000 to $140,000. It is a fantastic decision, which complements the recent HRV announcement.  Mildura will bring forward the HRV March rises to January.  And with the support of Mark Gurry and Associates and Seelite Windows and Doors, several features also get a rise in stakes. Well done to Barry Bottams, Mark Kemp and the Mildura Committee. Audio Visual Services For the past 16 years, Provideo has been producing the harness racing pictures which flow through to television screens and mobile devices around the world. Following an extensive tender process HRV recently announced that internationally renowned media distribution company Mediatec was successful in its bid and will commence as HRV’s contractor on November 1, 2013 for a five year period. While we look forward to a new era in broadcast services, I would like to pay tribute to Frank Verstrepen and his staff for the outstanding service HRV has received from Provideo over a long period of time. HRV’s announcement of the change can be seen by clicking here. Race Field Policy HRV charges a ‘Race Field Fee’ to wagering operators who bet on our product, such as interstate totes, corporate bookmakers and betting exchanges. While the Joint Venture with Tabcorp remains our principal funding source, Race Field Fees have become an important funding vehicle. HRV’s previous policy was to charge 1.5% on all turnover.  However from September 1 the HRV Board has approved a revised policy, which in summary is: Up to a threshold of $100,000 turnover per month the fee is 1% of turnover; For turnover in excess of $100,000 in a month the fee is 2% of turnover. Community Awards Two prominent harness racing identities have received awards from Corrections Victoria – recognising excellence and commitment in supervising offenders or prisoners performing community work: Les Chapman (Maryborough) has worked alongside offenders for over six years providing support and work opportunities.  George Crane (Hamilton) similarly provides supervision for offenders in his local area. Congratulations to both gentlemen on a great community service. Yarra Valley Congratulations are also extended to the Yarra Valley Club on the 10 year anniversary of the amalgamation of the two racing Clubs. Formerly comprising a separate thoroughbred club and harness club, the Yarra Valley model is a wonderful advertisement for co-operation between the trots and the gallops since the Club formed a single entity a decade ago. The milestone was celebrated at a gala function at the venue on August 31. Vale Harness racing has lost two of its elder statesmen recently: Jack Shelley, a prominent trainer for many years passed away in late August.  Jack maintained his A Grade trainers licence until 2008 – in his 91st year.  His son Brian continues the family tradition having been a licensed trainer/driver since the early 1990’s. I did not know Jack, however everyone speaks highly of his skill and he was certainly well regarded by industry participants; and   Long serving Ararat Committeeman Milton McKinnis passed away this week.  Milton was involved with the Ararat Club for over 50 years and served as both President and Vice President during that time.  Milton volunteered for many tasks at the Club and will be sadly missed. HRV’s condolences go out to the families of both these great servants of the trots industry.  

New Zealand Metropolitan Trotting Club Inc. - Addington Racway - Tuesday 12th November 2013 Christchurch Casino New Zealand Trotting Cup - Stakes $650,000 (Including $300,000 subsidy from HRNZ) The 37 Christchurch Casino NZ Trotting Cup nominations received by NZ Metropolitan TC officials wet the appetite for what promises to be an exciting and intriguing build-up to the great race on the second Tuesday in November. Of the 37 nominations received, 7 are from Australia. NZ TAB Bookmakers will release their initial market on Monday 2nd September. The first rankings will be released on Wednesday 4th September. 2012 victor Terror to Love will head those rankings. Age Horse H'Cap Wins Trainer Stakes Won 5h Cam Before The Storm 4 T Butt               68,503.00 5g Ellmer Hanover 5 T Butt               76,374.00 5g Besotted 6 R Green             144,012.00 7g Captain Peacock 6 D Taylor             245,840.00 6g Easy On The Eye 6 Reid & McMullan             236,577.00 5g Field Officer 6 P Bagrie               83,117.00 5g Kiwi Ideal 6 Reid & McMullan               56,902.00 5g Pass Them By 6 T Butt               96,637.00 5m Pemberton Shard 6 B Mowbray             101,310.00 6g Phantom Grin 6 M Brinsdon               71,171.00 6h River Black 6 D Taylor             128,084.00 5m Cheer The Lady 7 B Purdon             314,325.00 5m Elusive Chick 7 T Butt             316,026.00 6h Jarcullembra 7 G Small             199,665.00 5g Jimmy Johnstone 7 J Hay               72,277.00 5g Smiling Star 7 R Holmes             105,243.00 6m Better To Be Bad 8 S Ashton               74,571.00 8g Sleepy Tripp 8 R Dunn             751,640.00 5h Fly Like An Eagle 9 Purdon & Rasmussen             595,395.00 7h Four Starzzz Flash 9 K Chapman             205,387.00 7h Gomeo Romeo 9 G Small             340,193.00 5g Jason Rulz 9 G & N Hope             161,846.00 7g Choise Achiever 10 T Butt             591,079.00 7g Mach Banner 10 R Dunn             199,955.00 5m Light In Every Day (Aust) 11 S Tritton             118,480.00 6h Franco Ledger 12 A Hunter             276,649.00 5h Chancellor Cullen (Aust) 13 D Braun             280,202.00 8h Highview Tommy 13 G & N Hope           1,006,732.00 7g Mah Sish 13 T Butt             892,250.00 5g Christen Me 14 C Dalgety             486,281.00 6h  Caribbean Blaster (Aust) 15 A Gath             527,547.00 6h Motu Crusader (Aust) 16 K Manning             240,856.00 9g Pembrook Benny 16 B Purdon             647,394.00 6h Terror To Love 18 G Court           1,544,667.00 6h Bitobliss (Aust) 19 S Stewart             363,295.00 6g Suave Stuey Lombo (Aust) 20 S Tritton             252,833.00 9g Themightyquinn (Aust) 45 G Hall           5,243,240.00 Harness Racing New Zealand  

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