|The battle amongst the Australian gambling industry continues, with the latest news being that English horses could be banned from a major racing event in one of the country’s states. The idea has formed in an attempt to raise the profile of the objections the racing industry has against UK based online betting exchange Betfair. This new move is the latest in a long list of protests against the site, and against other international companies which may gain access to the healthy Australian gambling industry, following the Australain governement’s decision to not impede their entry.|
This ban would take place at one of Vistoria’s premier races, the Spring Racing Carnival. Currently Betfair has been operating in Australia without a license, while it waits for the approval of its application. The Chief Executive of Racing Victoria, Robert Nason has revealed that the plan to ban the english entrants in the race is intended to bring the current disapproval of Betfair’s Asutralian operations to the attention of British authorities.
Nason said of the plan and his objection to Betfair: 'The damage that can be done to this market by a betting exchange operator is so significant that we have to look at extreme action in my view, and we have to bring this to the attention of the British authorities and the British Government. The [Betfair] model just doesn't work from an integrity point of view. And all of our most respected stewards in the country, all of the racing administrations do not believe we could maintain the integrity of horseracing if we had a betting exchange model in place that basically allows every person in the street to become a bookmaker.'
Mark Davis the Australian MD of Betfair reacted to the statements by dismissing the plans for a ban as “alarmist rhetoric” and adding that: 'Betfair is a wagering operator which operates absolutely in line with the law, both in the United Kingdom and in Australia. Owners of English race horses are not part of the battle that we're having on a commercial basis with some sectors of the Australian industries. All the allegations that you're suddenly going to see a massive increase in some kind of corrupt activity haven't come to pass in spite of the fact that we've been operating in Australia for 18 months and operating in the United Kingdom for nearly five years.'