Monday 8. February, 2016

Australian Sportsbet Argues for Online In-Play Betting

Australian online bookmaker, Sportsbet, has lashed out against Tatts Group and Tabcorp claiming their stance against in-play betting is simply an attempt to protect their monopoly of the retail betting market. Tatts and Tabcorp are preparing to launch a lobbying campaign to protect their retail outlets from the threat of in-play betting.

While Tatts and Tabcorp are concerned over the impact that in-play betting will have on their retail outlets and revenue, Sportsbet, which is owned by Irish bookmaker Paddy Power, says they just want to maintain their monopoly.

“The opposition to online in-play betting by retail bookies is hypocritical and protectionist,” stated Brad Addison, manager of government relations at Sportsbet. “Retail bookies, who in previous submissions to the government have supported online in-play, are now looking to maintain their monopoly of offering in-play betting in their retail stores.”

Online in-play betting has been the topic of heated debate in the Australian betting market and is expected to be a significant section of the government review into online gambling that is currently being considered in the Barry O’Farrell report. Sportsbet and Ladbrokes are all ready to launch their in-play betting product as soon as the government gives a go-ahead, while William Hill has already done so.

Figures recently released by Morgan Stanley show that Tabcorp stands to lose between $20 and $60 million in annual revenue if online in-play betting is legalised.

“This stance [by Tabcorp] further highlights their unwillingness to compete in a 21st century online environment that consumers are increasingly preferencing,” commented Mr Addison. “By opposing in-play betting online, retail bookies are forcing many Australian consumers to bet with unregulated and illegal offshore operators, which poses significant integrity risks for Australian sports.”

The government’s response to the O’Farrell report are expected to be released in the upcoming weeks.

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