Anger at new TAB betting charges

THE end of the 50-cent flutter over the counter at the TAB has not gone down too well with Clarence Valley punters.

Tabcorp introduced new betting charges yesterday, lifting the minimum across-the-counter bet from 50 cents to $3.

Under the new regulations, TAB outlets will refuse any bet or bets worth less than a total of $3 placed after midday.

The move has angered many punters, although most said it would not affect them because they placed bigger wagers than the $3 limit.

“Not many of them are happy about it,” said Roches Family Hotel regular John Fogarty.

“A lot of people on the pension who like to have 50cents each way won't be able to afford it.

“For those people, having a small punt is an interest for them that this might take away.”

Clocktower Hotel punter Garry Gumbleton was more direct.

“It stinks,” he said.

“They (Tabcorp) expect the little punter to bet $5 each way when they can't afford it. They've got no chance.

“They are just chasing the big money. They don't care what happens to the little punter.

Mr Gumbleton also criticised the attempt to force people to bet using the Easy Bet Terminals in hotel gaming areas.

“I don't like to use computers and there's a lot of people like me,” he said.

Staff at local hotels said the new regime had caused a few problems on its opening day.

Clocktower assistant manager Josh Dougherty said there had been complaints from some punters unaware of the new rules.

“We had signs up warning them that it was coming, but they hadn't read them,” he said.

He said the moves were designed to free up the betting terminals during the afternoon so bigger punters could place bets more easily.

“I think $3 might be a bit too much of a jump,” he said.

“Some people might go over to Keno which has a $1 minimum.”

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