Sue Neales, Mercury

RACING and betting supremo TOTE Tasmania has been accused of bullying the operators of its 118 local TOTE shops and pub outlets and conducting its business through a “reign of tyranny and fear”. Two top TOTE shop operators claim to have had their licences terminated or not renewed because they have spoken out about the government-owned TOTE company.

TOTE administers all racing in Tasmania, as well as acts as the State’s main wagering provider, turning over a record $321 million in bets last year. Yet Rod Murray, president of the TOTE Tasmania Licensed Operators Association (TTLOA), claims many of his members live in virtual poverty, earning shockingly low incomes, suffering stress and working seven days a week.

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