|UK Internet betting company Betfair has questioned the independence of Australian regulators seeking to ban its services.|
A taskforce commissioned by Australia’s eight state gaming ministers wants the federal government to extend legislation that prohibits online casino gambling service to all forms of online gambling.
Betfair, established in 1999, differs from the usual gambling model by allowing punters to bet against each other, rather than simply accepting a bookmaker's odds.
New South Wales Minister for Gaming and Racing Grant McBride said he supports the ban, saying such betting exchanges put 50,000 jobs at risk. Betfair denied it would damage the industry, claiming local operators were unwilling to face competition, and that the taskforce’s conclusions were ‘predetermined’.
A spokesman for the New South Wales tote TAB said organisations such as his provided 80% of racing resources.
'Online betting exchange services contribute nothing to that,' he said. 'But we are not against competition. If Betfair wants to apply for a bookmaker's licence and can pass the tests of probity, they are welcome.'