Racing Bets Levy

Requirements of betting operators who use or publish WA race fields as part of their wagering operations.

Legislative basis

The Racing Bets Levy scheme operates in accordance with the Betting Control Act 1954 and the Racing Bets Levy Act 2009. . Section 27F of the Act provides that a domestic betting operator is authorised to publish Western Australian race fields, subject to the requirement that it must, within the period prescribed in the Betting Control Regulations 1978 (the regulations):

  • lodge a return showing the total bets it has taken on WA races
  • pay the relevant racing bets levy.

Section 27D(2A)(b) of the Act requires offshore betting operators to seek approval from the Gaming and Wagering Commission (the commission) in order to use/publish WA race fields. The application form can be downloaded or is available from the department.

Racing Bets Levy account

All levy monies received by the commission are held in the Racing Bets Levy account. Other than an administration fee, all funds are distributed back to Western Australian racing clubs registered with Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA).

Domestic betting operator

A domestic betting operator is a person who in any state or territory of Australia is authorised to engage in or conduct the business of betting as a:
  • licensed bookmaker
  • off-course or on-course totalisator
  • licensed operator of a betting exchange.

Offshore betting operator

An offshore betting operator is a person who is authorised under the law of a jurisdiction outside Australia to engage in or conduct the business of betting on events.

Racing Bets Levy

The racing bets levy regime commenced on 1 September 2008. The current levy regime, which came into effect from 1 August 2018, is a differential racing bets levy structure in which a base rate levy of 1% is charged for all turnover up to and including $3,000,000. Thereafter, standard race meeting and premium race meeting levy rates apply as follows:

  • pari-mutuel bets placed on standard race meetings levied at 2% of turnover
  • pari-mutuel bets placed on premium race meetings levied at 2.5% of turnover
  • betting exchange bets placed on standard race meetings levied at 1.5% of turnover
  • betting exchange bets placed on premium race meetings levied at 2.5% of turnover
  • fixed odds bets placed on standard race meetings levied at the greater of 2% of turnover or 13.6% of gross revenue, calculated for each race meeting
  • fixed odds bets placed on premium race meetings levied at the greater of 2.5% of turnover or 22.7% of gross revenue.

Premium race meetings are defined in the regulations on the basis of the value of stake money on offer, as follows:

  • thoroughbred racing: any meeting that contains at least one race with stake money of $100,000
  • harness racing: any meeting that contains at least one race with stake money of $30,000
  • greyhound racing: any meeting that contains at least one race with stake money of $30,000.

Wagering operators who generate turnover of less than $1000 in any month must lodge a return but are exempt from paying any levy in that month.


Turnover is defined under section 14A(1) of the Act as:

turnover means:

  1. in relation to a domestic betting operator or offshore betting operator — the total amount of racing bets placed with the operator, less the amount of bet backs placed by the operator;
  2. in relation to a betting exchange — the net winnings of racing bets placed with the betting exchange.”

A bet back is defined in section 14A(1) of the Act as:

“bet back means a bet placed with a domestic betting operator, or the operator of a betting exchange, if the bet is placed:

  1. for the purpose of reducing the liability of another domestic betting operator; and
  2. by that other domestic betting operator”.


  1. is not reduced by:
    • rebates paid to customers or discounts offered to customers
    • any amounts paid to commission agents
    • bad sales
    • bad debts, errors and customer claims.
  2. excludes jackpots (transferred from other pools) and any amounts added (seeded) to the pools by the wagering operator
  3. includes the value of free bets
  4. in the case of doubles bets and multi bets, add to turnover the proportion of the amount bet equivalent to the proportion of the bet placed on WA races (i.e. if one of two legs is a WA race, then 50% of the value of the bet is attributed to WA turnover)
  5. in the case of an all-up bet each leg of the all-up is a separate bet. Therefore, turnover should be recorded for each separate transaction as each leg is resulted
  6. any bets placed that cross a reporting period are to be apportioned as they relate to each reporting period.

Prescribed information requirements

In addition to the levy, under section 27D(4A) of the Act, betting operators must supply ‘prescribed information’ on betting transactions conducted on WA races to the commission. Regulations 103 and 106 of the regulations define prescribed information as information in documents, records or accounts relating to racing bets placed with or placed or accepted through, a betting operator.

Under regulations 104-108, betting operators must comply with the Chief Steward of RWWA and authorised officers of the commission by allowing them to:

  • view any document, record or accounts of the operator containing prescribed information
  • provide them with a copy of any document, record or accounts containing the prescribed information
  • where possible, provide real time access to betting systems.

Section 27E(3) of the Act requires that the information be provided to RWWA in a summary or statistical format and that it does not directly associate the betting operator with the data.

WA Race Fields return

All betting operators who publish/use WA races must lodge a monthly race fields return and pay the racing bets levy within 14 days of the end of each month. The return must be completed in a form approved by the commission under section 14A(2)(a) of the Act. The return can be submitted via the online system (see Racing Bets Levy lodgement guide) or on a manual form available from the department.

The information required in the return includes:

  • race meeting date
  • race code (for instance, thoroughbreds, harness or greyhounds)
  • race club conducting meeting
  • race number
  • total bets taken through each sales channel (for instance on-course, telephone, internet and retail)
  • total amount of bets taken
  • total amount of pay-outs.

Payment methods

Once the levy is calculated, payment can be made using the following online methods: BPay, Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) or credit/debit card.

Racing calendar

The annual racing calendar is periodically updated by RWWA. Please check on a regular basis to ensure you have the latest version of the calendar.

Annual audited return

Regulation 110 of the regulations requires that an annual, audited return completed independently by a qualified auditor1, covering the previous race year (1 August to 31 July) be submitted to the commission by 30 August each year.

This return must specify the total amount:

  • of turnover and gross revenue on WA races
  • the levy paid on those bets (excluding GST) for each month.

Betting operators may be granted an exemption from this requirement if the total turnover for WA races is less than $50,000 per annum. Betting operators seeking an exemption must write to the commission and demonstrate that the total amount of turnover on WA races for the year is, or will be below the threshold value.

To ensure timely consideration and approval of exemption requests before 30 August, they should be submitted before 31 July each year.

Requests received after 30 August cannot be approved.

Exemptions must be sought on an annual basis.


  1. An auditor is an individual qualified to conduct an examination of the records to form an opinion about the authenticity and correctness of such record such as an accountant.

More information

Strategic Regulation Branch
Regulatory Services Division

Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries
Gordon Stephenson House Level 2 140 William Street Perth WA 6000

Telephone 61 8 6551 4888

Gaming and Wagering Commission
PO Box 8349 Perth Business Centre WA 6849

Page reviewed 12 December 2023