HAVE BOOKMAKERS RUN THEIR RACE?
The option to bet on racing in most countries is confined to parimutuel tote operations.
There would be a reason why, in most countries, ookmaking is no longer a legal activity and betting is restricted to totes.
Historically bookmakers added colour and excitement to the on course entertainment but that is ever less relevant as 'no one' goes to the track these days and if they do the roie of the on-course bookmaker is sadly dimished.
Conversely the business of bookmaking has been corporatized and digitalized and ever more in the hands of one or two global players.
............ it is no longer clear that these corporate bookmakers are making a useful contribution.
On the contrary it now seems that the corporates have become useful players, as least temporarily, in an overall game of an industry exploiting modest punters who would be better off without them.
For starters the prices offered by corporates are generally worse than the prepost market set by TABs and their policies apparently preclude customers that are 'successful'.
For seconds these corporates seem to feed off the totes without making anything like the same 'tax' contribution to industry or government coffers
........ in short one can only wonder why state racing authorities, and the national government, are protecting a business that conributes little, exploits punters and sends the protected profits offshore.
Surely it is time for all sensibly involved in racing industry policy to work towards a tote-only framework for racing gambling -- and doing so fairly without the offer of rebates to big-betting syndicates plundering the tote pools contributed by modest punters.
----------- there may even be a role for facilitating the matched-bet operations of a Betfair business model in an overall process of coupling a fair market for racing gambling with a framework ensuring reasonable restraint on the 'take' by TABs