|The news that online betting exchange Betfair is in negotiations with the Government of New South Wales for an operational gambling license is to be the topic of discussion at a special forum of gambling counsellors this week in the Australian town of Young.|
Organiser John Lynch of the non-denominational Christian community service organisation Mission Australia in nearby Wagga Wagga stated that he is concerned that Betfair will increase access to 24-hour-a-day gambling throughout the world and create more entrenched gambling.
He said that sufficient consideration has not been given to funding the inevitable problems that could result from introducing Betfair to New South Wales, Australia’s most populous state.
'Does that mean that there would be more funds made available for working with the treatment of problem gamblers and their families,' said Lynch. 'Will more money be made available? This is just a general question I'm throwing out there in line with the increase in the number of problem gamblers that will be a consequence of these new levels of gambling.'
Racing New South Wales Chief Executive Peter V'Landys is also critical of the plan and stated that the financial effects of allowing Betfair to operate in the state could cost the industry tens of millions of dollars. However, the Chair of the Tasmanian Thoroughbred Racing Council, Rod Thirkell-Johnston, said that the deal could bring real benefits as Betfair has operated on the island state for over a year and given the local racing industry a boost.