Sunday 11. September, 2016

Betfair Moving its Business to the Northern Territory

Betfair Australia has announced they have signed a new licensing agreement with the Northern Territory Racing Commission and will be moving their betting exchange business from Tasmania to the Northern Territory from September 20, 2016.

The move is as a result of legislation that was amended by the Northern Territory Government in April. At the time, former racing minister Peter Styles made it quite clear he planned to use the changes in legislation to lure Betfair from Tasmania.

There are thirteen corporate bookmakers licensed in the NT, which paid $4.77 million collectively in gambling taxes on $9.6 billion turnover in the last financial year. The NT has the cheapest bookmaking licences in Australia and Betfair are expected to pay around $805,000 in license fees and taxes.

Betfair’s move from Tasmania to the NT has caused a stir as the betting exchange was awarded a license in 2005 in a move by the then-premier Paul Lennon that defied pressure from big interstate racing names to break the TABs national monopoly on betting.

There is now insecurity for the 50 staff at Betfair’s operations centre at the Technopark in Glenorchy, Hobart, although the company has said they will maintain a presence in the territory. On the other hand, the move to the NT is expected to create dozens of new jobs there.

Although Betfair will still be required to pay product fees from bets made on the Tasmanian racing industry, the Tasmanian government could lose up to $3 million in annual revenue from this move.

As a result of the new license, Betfair will also be phasing out its ‘Australian wallet’ from September 20. International customers will no longer be required to transfer funds to their Australian wallet in order to bet on Australian and New Zealand sporting events.

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