Singapore Turf Club, under new leadership, has embarked on a series of initiatives to help racing in the island state return to its glory days, with a focus on on-track product and attracting international talent. He's hoping to help the club better compete with regional giants such as Japan and Hong Kong.
New Zealand’s racing industry is facing a major overhaul designed to bring in more international interest and boost revenue, though some critics say it increases political involvement in a traditionally neutral industry. The recent national elections returned strident nationalist leader Winston Peters as Minister of Racing and Deputy Prime Minister in a coalition government. Peters leads the New Zealand First Party (NZF), which holds the balance of power in the New Zealand parliament following an inconclusive election in September. The new policy reflects that of NZF.
Korea’s horse racing industry, considered the sleeping giant of Asia, has not been immune from the turmoil sweeping through the country’s political and business classes, with modernization plans in the balance after the Korean Racing Authority chairman was removed from office. It’s just the latest setback for the sport, which has been beset by political obstacles. Exorbitant taxes, uncompetitive take out rates, a unionized labor force at its training centers and vociferous anti-gambling lobbyists determined to shut down off-track betting centers are all perennial problems for the government-controlled Korean Racing Authority.
Australian operators are concerned a point of consumption tax introduced in South Australia may go national, which they say could potentially render the wagering industry unprofitable. The measure is an attempt to tax money where it is actually earned, effectively preventing online companies from enjoying tax arbitrage by basing their operations in a low tax state while offering their services across the country.
The horse-racing circuit in India is on its summer break, but off track the industry is lobbying hard to mitigate the effects of a proposed Goods and Services Tax, which officials say may be the death knell for some of the country’s clubs. A council charged with assessing GST limits will meet in Srinagar next week and its decision is likely to be crucial for the industry.
New laws widening the scope of current legislation on money laundering and the financing of terrorist activity are currently before the New Zealand Parliament and similar moves are expected in Australia. The expanded legislation will bring in sports betting and wagering for the first time and will include significant extra costs for industry.
Australia’s betting culture, which changed with the entry of foreign bookmakers, is gradually returning as punters fight back against practices such as cutting big bets and closing winning accounts. But lobby groups say more needs to be done. While the two biggest states have led the way with legislative changes, members of online forum Fair Wagering Australia are still leading the charge to enact change across all of Australia.
While the Baird’s greyhound racing ban reversal came as a relief to the greyhound industry, Animals Australia has has vowed to continue its investigations...
More than 18 months after Singapore’s ban on online gambling took effect, the Ministry of Finance has finally given the nod to the two incumbent operators to offer internet gambling services to locals. Since the Remote Gambling Act came into force in February 2 last year, several hundred online gambling sites have been blocked, as well as bank accounts and credit card transactions linked to remote gambling payments. However, the new easing comes with significant restrictions.
After a period of rapid growth in Europe, virtual sports are emerging as a viable product in Asia, with operators drawn to the regulatory flexibility, low-cost turnkey integration and high margins. But today’s virtuals - which let players bet on the outcome of pre-determined, virtual visualizations of sporting encounters - are now graphically impressive adaptations of the real thing, created with advanced motion-capture technology which make the leading products tough to distinguish from reality.