SP bookmaking

Starting price or SP bookmaking literally refers to taking bets at fixed odds, i.e. a fixed starting price, as opposed to the totalisator model of betting. This form of gambling was only legal in Australia for bookmakers operating on the course or racetrack, and so a large telephone based SP bookmaking industry started, leading to the term SP bookie or "turf accountant" to more affluent customers, becoming synonymous with a criminal bookmaker operating off-course in competition with the authorized on-course bookmakers and the totalisator (or tote). SP quickly became a large area of vice, intimately associated with police corruption and racetrack rigging. Several Royal Commissions investigated the practice, and there were many attempts to eradicate it. Once a common sight in suburban pubs and bars, the introduction of telephone and internet betting at fixed prices by licenced on-course bookmakers has made them largely redundant.

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