In Australia, the Gold Coast Titans team of the National Rugby League (NRL) has signed an agreement with Northern Territory-licensed online sportsbetting provider Betezy to establish its own Internet betting site at TitansBet.com.au.
The joint venture marks the first time an Australian sporting organisation has entered the Northern Territory's growing corporate bookmaking market, which could earn upwards of three billion dollars this financial year. The new site will be closely monitored by the NRL and offer online wagering on horse racing, entertainment and sport including a section devoted to rugby league.
Last week, the NRL quashed a sponsorship agreement between Sydney-based Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles and BetChoice because the League already boasted conflicting deals with operators TAB Sportsbet and Betfair. However, the Titans stated that its deal was simply taking such arrangements to a new level and increasing the return for the club.
'At a time when the game is looking for new and innovative ways to inject fresh revenue streams, we see this as a major move for our organisation,' said Michael Searle, Chief Executive Officer for the Titans.
'As far as I am concerned, when you are speaking about agreements with betting agencies, you can't be half-pregnant. The game already receives significant revenue from existing deals, we are just taking those another step forward.
'I am more than comfortable that the two arms can operate successfully, independent of one another, though obviously through the football club we will actively seek to build the clientele base.'
The Titans have been in discussions with the NRL for more than six months regarding the deal and several other clubs are thought to be looking into similar agreements.
'While we accept that sportsbetting is a reality and that clubs are looking to build revenue streams, we will retain the right to examine each proposal on a case-by-case basis,” said David Gallop, Chief Executive Officer for the NRL.