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Western Australian Race Fields

Background

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

Racing Bets Levy

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:

Pari-mutuel

  • Below $3million: 1% of turnover
  • Above $3million (standard race meeting): 2% of turnover
  • Above $3million (premium meeting): 2.5% of turnover

Betting Exchange

  • Below $3million: 1% of turnover
  • Above $3million (standard race meeting): 1.5% of turnover
  • Above $3million (premium meeting): 2.5% of turnover

Fixed Odds

  • Below $3million: 1% of turnover
  • Above $3million (standard race meeting): the greater of 1.5% of turnover or 13.6% of gross revenue
  • Above $3million (premium meeting): the greater of 2.5% of turnover or 22.7% of gross revenue

No levy is payable in any month where an operator generates less than $1000 in turnover (although a return is required).

The racing bets levy is payable monthly although levy calculations will be conducted on each race meeting and added together to arrive at the monthly total. The levy will be calculated in date order and in the following code order – Thoroughbreds (T), Harness (H) and Greyhounds (G)

Premium race meetings have been re-defined in the regulations 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

The department’s online racing bets levy system captures the new levy rates, the new premium racing criteria and the new method for calculating levies after each race meeting.

Betting operators licensed in Australia do not need permission to use WA race fields, however, offshore betting operators are required to seek approval to use WA race fields. The approval form can is available to download.

Application form to use or publish WA Race Fields (offshores) (PDF 537 KB)

As the levy is a fee for a product/service, being collected by the Gaming and Wagering Commission on behalf of the service provider (the WA racing industry), GST is payable on the levy.

Turnover includes all bets received on races conducted in WA (including bet backs received from another bookmaker) less cancellations and refunds. 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 (i.e. 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

With respect to betting exchange operators, turnover is determined by the value of racing bets made on the backer’s side of a wagering transaction.

Gross revenue is defined under section 14A(1) of the Act as “charges, commission, earnings, fees, rewards or other remuneration (however described) payable to or received by a betting operator in relation to racing bets placed with, or placed and accepted through, the operator.

Therefore, gross revenue 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 turnover is defined as turnover less winnings paid.

Racing Bets Levy Account

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 (RWWA).

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. 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.

Lodgement Date

A WA Racefields Return form completed electronically or manually MUST be submitted to the Gaming and Wagering Commission within 14 days of the end of each calendar month.

Additionally, an annual return which has been audited by an individual qualified to conduct an examination of the records to form an opinion about the authenticity and correctness of such records (such as an accountant), is required to be submitted by 30 August each year. Betting operators must advise the Gaming and Wagering Commission of any changes to their details.

Electronic Lodgement (Preferred Method of Lodgement)

The WA Race Fields Return form can be completed electronically by visiting Racing Bet Levy Returns. If you are a new user, you will need to create a user account. If you have lodged a return previously, you will be required to log in to your account in order to access the form. Electronic lodgement provides a fast and convenient method of lodging your return.

The system will provide the option of entering information directly into the system or uploading a CSV (Comma Separated Values) file containing the information. The format of the CSV file is detailed in the document: Layouts for Racing Bets Levy Return upload data files (PDF).

The levy is then calculated and can be paid online via BPAY or credit/debit card (Visa or Mastercard). Alternatively, a remittance slip can be printed and submitted via fax or post containing credit/debit card details, cheque or money order or presented in person with cash, credit/debit card, cheque or money order.

Note that a list of the race clubs is available in this csv file: Race Clubs List

A calendar of race dates is available in PDF format:

Manual Lodgement

Alternatively, if you don’t have access to the internet, a form can be lodged manually. To obtain a hard copy of the WA Race Fields form or for assistance completing the form, please telephone: +61 8 9425 1999. 

If there is insufficient space, the second page of the form can be photocopied as many times as needed. Each additional page must be numbered, signed and dated.

Details must be provided for each race and each race meeting.

The levy amounts should be calculated for each race meeting and sub-totalled on the bottom of each page and the final amount totalled on the last page.

Payment can be made via facsimile or post by supplying credit/debit card (Visa or Mastercard) details on the bottom of the form.  Alternatively, a cheque or money order payable to the 'Gaming and Wagering Commission of Western Australia' can be posted or presented in person at the following address:

Street address

Licensing and Industry Services Branch
Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
Gordon Stephenson House
Level 2, 140 William Street Perth WA 6000

Postal address

Gaming and Wagering Commission
PO Box 8349 Perth Business Centre WA 6849

Last updated: 02/08/2018 16:59:15 PM

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