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Australian Bookies Fear Demise

6 July 2004

AUSTRALIA – As reported by the Daily Telegraph: "NSW bookmakers fear extinction should the State Government endorse a push from TAB Limited to permanently expand its fixed odds operation.

"The government permitted the TAB to trial fixed odds betting on all group two, three and listed races from September 1 until June 30.

"Racing Minister Grant McBride allowed a further extension of the trial period until the end of this month, at which time he will decide whether to legislate an expansion to TAB Limited's fixed odds.

"…Bookmakers believe there will be no incentive to bet with them on track if the same odds are offered by a rival in 2000 agencies across the state as well as over the phone and Internet.

"TAB Limited said it is only looking for a level playing field against the other TABs.

"…Racing NSW argues otherwise and has written to McBride expressing concern about the viability of racing should fixed odds be expanded.

"'The best form of betting for us is totalizator betting,' Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'Landys said…"

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