Pam Beggs

Pam Beggs

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    WA to join combined interstate TAB pools

    13/11/1992 12:00 AM
     
     
    Western Australia will join combined interstate TAB pools next Tuesday.
     
    The move is a breakthrough in helping to revitalise the State's racing industry and will remove some of the distortions that can occur with the existing WA-only pools.
     
    Racing and Gaming Minister Pam Beggs pushed for combined interstate pools at the Racing Ministers' Conference in Perth early last year.
     
    She was successful in gaining the co-operation of most other States and Territories in setting up a working party to explore the concept.
     
    The TABs in WA, Victoria, South Australia, Tasmania, the Northern Territory and the Australian Capital Territory from next Tuesday will bet into a single combined pool and declare the same dividends.
     
    "The move means that the win-place pools will be up to eight times bigger than current levels," Mrs Beggs said.
     
    "This in turn will mean that dividends are less likely to fluctuate to the degree that occurs when pools are small.
     
    "For example, the average win-place pool on the WA TAB for a Saturday race in Melbourne is around $80,000.  But on the Victorian TAB, the win-place pool is $650,000, or eight times the WA TAB pool.
     
    "Similarly, the WA TAB win-place pools on interstate trot and dog meetings will increase markedly."
     
    Mrs Beggs said win-place pools on Perth races also would increase.
     
    "TAB punters in this State wager about $150,000 on a Saturday race at Ascot.  The Victorian TAB carries around $100,000 on the same race," she said.
     
    "So combined pools will mean the total pool on a Saturday race at Ascot will be around $250,000."
     
    Initially, the combined pool will operate only on win-place bets.  Other bet types such as trifectas and quartets will be looked at when the impact of the win-place bets becomes more evident.
     
    "Punters also will benefit from the cut in commission rates as a result of entering the combined pools," Mrs Beggs said.
     
    "In Western Australia, the TAB has dropped the win-place commission rate from 15.6 per cent to 15 per cent which will add about $1.5 million to winning dividends.
     
    "However, the drop in the TAB's profit is expected to be more than covered through increased turnover, as WA punters now using interstate TABs return to the WA TAB."
     
    Mrs Beggs praised the efforts of the WA TAB staff who worked on the computer programs and links to enable the move to go ahead.
     
    "The WA TAB in fact was ready to go into combined pools several weeks ago but unfortunately the Victorian TAB was reluctant to enter the arrangement on the eve of the Melbourne spring carnival," she said.
     
    Mrs Beggs said the new system had in built safeguards.  In the event the Victorian TAB computers went down, the WA TAB would revert to a stand-alone operation.
     
    However, punters might notice dividend updates would not be as fast as currently because of the interstate links and bigger pools.