|The political obstacle that was standing in the way of online sportsbook, Betfair, moving into the Australian market was overcome this week when the Parliament passed the Gaming Control Amendment (Betting Exchange) Bill 2005 and granted Betfair an operating licence.|
Australian racing authorities had fervently objected to the approval of Betfair’s licence, claiming that their profit margins would be undercut and gaming incomes slashed. Members of the House in Tasmania debated and considered the new legislation for two days before passing it. Under the law, Betfair can now offer accounts to Australian residents.
Betfair director, Andrew Twaits, said of the landmark decision by the Tasmanian Government, 'It's a great day for Australian punters. Punters fund the racing industry. A lot of people tend to forget that. What this does is provide competition with existing wagering operators, which can only give punters a better deal at the end of the day.'