Paddy Power Betfair, one of the world’s largest bookmakers is urging the state of Victoria to allow more than one betting operator to gain access to their lucrative betting market. The gambling giant, which owns Australia’s Sportsbet has called on the Andrews government to liberalize the state’s online betting landscape and remove the existing state-based monopoly.
More Betting Operators Must Be Allowed
Online betting is a fast-growing industry in Australia, recording a 15 percent growth rate each year. Some of the world’s largest and most popular bookmakers are currently operating online gambling sites in the country, such as Paddy Power Betfair, Bet365 and Ladbrokes. But these companies are prohibited from operating retail betting shops in Victoria and in other states, due to existing wagering policies.
Tabcorp is the current holder of a 12-year wagering license in Victoria, which means it is the only operator allowed to run fixed-odds betting (FOBT) terminals and parimutuel across the state. The company is also the sole operator of off-course retail betting, setting up TAB shops and pub terminals throughout the state of Victoria. Tabcorp, which recently joined forces with ex-competitor Tatts Group, exclusively operates retail betting in all states, except Western Australia which is currently discussing plans for the privatization of its betting agency.
When you look at betting markets like the United Kingdom and Ireland, multiple retail betting shops are permitted to operate which has paved the way for a highly competitive market benefiting the consumers and the country as a whole. Paddy Power Betfair said allowing more operators to participate in the betting market leads to product innovation, greater consumer choice, and enhanced customer experience.
Sportsbet is eager to enter the state of Victoria and think residents will be happy with having more than one option when it comes to placing their bets. Paddy Power Betfair operates numerous betting shops in the UK and Ireland and is looking to bid for the Victorian wagering license that’s up for renewal in 2024.
Opposition To Gambling Expansion Still Strong
Paddy Power Betfair will have to work pretty hard if it going to get the Victorian government to change its rules. There is stiff opposition to any form of gambling in Victoria. The Alliance for Gambling Reform (AGR) says that allowing other operators to set up retail outlets would be a bad move for the state.
Tim Costello who heads AGR wants Victoria’s wagering policies to be revamped to protect Victorians. Costello, along with other gambling reform campaigners believe that gambling companies were already given far too many opportunities to market their products. Costello said the Victorian government should instead urge the next wagering license holder to close down several redundant retail betting outlets as they’re exposing the Victorian community and exposing them to excessive gambling opportunities. He also was very clear in saying that his organization would oppose any attempt by Sportsbet to expand its gambling footprint in Australia.
Severe Ties With Racing Industry
The Victorian government is also being called on by Paddy Power Betfair to severe the link between the wagering license holder and the racing industry.
As part of  its licensing terms, a share of Tabcorp’s gambling revenue is used to support harness, thoroughbred and greyhound racing. Last year, the joint venture contributed a massive $216 million to Racing Victoria, the governing principal racing authority in the state.
Sportsbet argued that the link places an additional cost burden to the licensee; despite getting some benefits in return that are not available to online bookmakers. Sportsbet, the largest online bookmaker in Australia, is now urging Victoria’s policy makers to take into account the advantages of cutting that link.
This move is timely, especially because Western Australia is also considering severing the WA TAB betting agency’s ties with the state’s racing industry. The matter is still being discussed, and Western Australia’s racing industry is looking for every possible way to make sure its funding is maintained.
As per industry sources, Paddy Power Betfair has also expressed interest in bidding for the WA TAB, along with two other bidders.
About Paddy Power Betfair
Paddy Power Betfair is a London-listed company formed in 2016 from the merger of Paddy Power plc and Betfair, two of the world’s leading online betting operators. Among the sports betting and gaming brands operated by the company are Sportsbet, FanDuel, TVG, Paddy Power and Betfair.

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