Wednesday 28. September, 2016

Ladbrokes Australia Moves to the Northern Territory

Ladbrokes Australia has become the latest major gaming company to move its operations to the Northern Territory. According to an email Ladbrokes Australia sent to its customers this week explaining the changes, as of September 28, 2016, the company will operate under a license from the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC).

The announcement by Ladbrokes comes only a few weeks after Betfair Australia announced their plans to move their operations to the Northern Territory from Tasmania. Betfair, as a betting exchange decided to make the move due to changes in legislation. Exchange betting legislation was passed by NT politicians, offering favourable taxation and low licensing fees for betting exchanges.

In Ladbrokes case, as they are not a betting exchange, the same motivation did not apply. However, Ladbrokes may have had a more significant reason for making the switch. Ladbrokes was previously licensed by the Norfolk Island Gaming Authority (NIGA), which in April lost its licensing powers.

While all NIGA-licensed operators continue to have a valid license, The Northern Territory Racing Commission may have seemed a safer option for the bookmaker. Ladbrokes expressed concern about the uncertainty of the future of NIGA and of the future validity of its licenses. In addition, Ladbrokes expressed concern over how other racing bodies would relate to NIGA and its licensees going forward.

Australian bookmaker, TopBetta, which is licensed for sports and race betting under the Bookmakers and Betting Exchange Act 1998 (Norfolk Island) was also granted a license by the Northern Territory Racing Commission in August.

Despite the blow dealt to online bookmakers by the Northern Territory when it banned in-play betting earlier this year, it is becoming a more and more attractive licensing jurisdiction for online bookies.

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