AUS companies approaching Betfair about joint opportunities
By abigail
Following the Australian federal government decision not to extend restrictions on online casinos and internet betting exchanges in Australia, UK company Betfair are being approached by Australian companies keen to discuss future co-operation. Mark Davies of Betfair has confirmed that one of these companies is PBL, owned and run by Kerry Packer. PBL is the owner of Melbourne’s premier casino, the Crown Casino, and is currently bidding for a casino in West Australia, Burswood, for Aus$580 million.

PBL have entered the online casino market before, but closed the operation-, in May 2003 after changes were made to credit legislation in the US. That venture is believed to have lost PBL Aus$15 million. Given Betfair’s success in the online betting industry, (they currently take approximately 90percent of the revenue generated by the world’s betting exchanges). Any joint venture with PBL, or any other Australian company, is likely to be the responsibility of Betfair.

Davies, whilst confirming that talks had taken place with PBL, even prior to the recent federal government decision, was eager to emphasize that any such discussions were only introductory, with no decisions about possible joint business opportunities being even close to being made. He stated that, 'People seem to be fascinated by the possibility that we might be talking to them, but I think that's more a reflection of Australia's fascination with PBL than Betfair's interest in PBL...We have been approached by a lot of major companies in Australia, and I wouldn't deny that PBL was one of them. But to go further than that at this point is jumping the gun. It's premature to believe we are about to be doing something tomorrow...but there's nothing yet on paper'.

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