Queensland oncourse fielding incentive scheme announced
30 Jun 2012 | Racing Queensland Limited (RQL) has announced a new incentive scheme aimed at ensuring the future of a vibrant and viable oncourse bookmaking community in Queensland.
The fabric of the raceday experience is significantly enhanced by a well-functioning bookies ring and it is this function RQL wishes to preserve.
Country racing is particularly dependant on the bookmakers to provide their essential and invaluable services to the race clubs and their communities.
It has been well documented that oncourse bookmaking has become strained by regulation and cost and required an immediate reprieve.
RQL chairman Kevin Dixon said the OFIS initiative is aimed directly at revitalising the bookies ring, thereby enhancing the raceday experience and excitement.
“Bookmakers are a fundamental element of the raceday atmosphere and it is imperative Racing Queensland does everything in its power to protect their future, especially in the country,” he added.
“We are pleased to have developed a scheme for the bookies that will ensure their survival and hopefully allow them to prosper.”
The Oncourse Fielding Incentive Scheme has three major components.
The first component is the removal of the stand or fielding fee bookmakers were required to pay to clubs. These fees were necessary to allow clubs to provide facilities such as the bookie stand area, TV monitors, power and communications connections.
Clubs will now make an application to RQL and be compensated for these costs from the OFIS initiative.
Secondly, bookmakers will similarly be able to make an application for payments from RQL to assist in the offset of costs involved in fielding on course. To alleviate unnecessary administration, the Bookmakers Association Club Inc. will be able to make a bulk application on behalf of similar groups of bookmakers.
Finally, RQL can from time to time, make grants from the OFIS toward specific initiatives aimed at encouraging and enhancing the service and entertainment provided by oncourse bookmakers.
Industry participants such as bookmakers and clubs are invited to make applications for these specific grants to RQL for consideration.
Bookmakers Association Club Inc. president Bob McHarg is excited about the OFIS initiative.
“The Bookmakers Association and I are excited about the attention RQL is providing the Queensland bookies and especially how this scheme will guarantee our future,” he said.
The OFIS initiative will commence on July 1, and RQL estimates that $1.8million will be invested in the scheme in this current year (2012).
This scheme forms part of wider reforms included in the LNP policy that was announced in the lead up to the Queensland state election held in March, 2012.