The government of Victoria is being put under pressure to follow in the footsteps of other jurisdictions which permit multiple companies to operate retail betting shops.
Global gambling giant Paddy Power Betfair is pushing for a radical reform of Victoria’s betting industry to ensure a better overall experience for punters.
The London-listed company argues it’s about time the Australian state makes way for strong competition to emerge in the rapidly growing online betting market.
Right now there is a monopoly in the Victorian state which prevents other gaming operators from entering in and competing.
Countries such as the UK and Ireland are reaping the benefits of online betting liberalization and Sportsbet wants the state of Victoria to do the same. Sportsbet is the largest online bookmaker in Australia and its parent company is Paddy Power Betfair.
Australia is one of the hotbeds for online betting in the world, with the industry enjoying a 15 percent annual growth rate. The country has attracted some of the biggest names and largest players in the sports betting market including Bet365, Paddy Power Betfair and Ladbrokes.
The Victorian government is currently only permitting the ASX-listed Tabcorp to operate various betting systems such as fixed-odds betting and pari-mutuel gaming. The state of Victoria granted Tabcorp a 12-year wagering license to continue its operations, which include running state-wide off course retail betting through TAB shops and pub terminals. The company also recently merged with one-time rival the Tatts Group. The combined entity is currently holding exclusive licenses to operate retail betting in all states, with the exception of Western Australia.
Paddy Power Betfair which is among the world’s largest bookmakers, owns hundreds of betting shops in the UK and Ireland. The operator has been wanting for a long time to set up retail betting shops in Victoria, and has showed interest in the past of obtaining the state’s wagering license.
Gambling Reform Campaigners Say “NO”
The call to allow more betting shops to operate in Victoria has been met with opposition from gambling reform campaigners who insist that gambling operators are already provided with far too many opportunities to expand their products and services.
Tim Costello of the Alliance for Gambling Reform said allowing the likes of Sportsbet to establish retail betting outlets would be a bad move and would encourage more gambling advertising resulting in many Australians being exposed to the risks of excessive gambling.