Hon Michael Wright Minister for Administrative Services Minister for Industrial Relations Minister for Recreation, Sport & Racing Minister for Gambling Tuesday 22 November 2005
BETFAIR NOT FAIR AT ALL South Australia’s Minister for Racing, Michael Wright, has supplied the Australian Racing Board with a copy of his draft legislative amendments aimed at blocking the controversial Betfair exchange’s ability to take wagers from South Australian punters. British-based Betfair allows punters to back horses to both win and lose. Tasmania’s parliament is currently moving towards allowing the controversial system to operate there but the Rann Government is vehemently opposed to Betfair because it believes it will compromise the integrity of the horse racing industry. “Letting punters back a horse to lose is un-Australian and it will only bring the horse racing industry into disrepute,” says Minister Wright “The Australian Racing Board is lobbying the Tasmanian parliament to reverse its legislation on Betfair, citing several flaws with the bill, and, the Rann Government is happy to help it prepare its case by showing them our draft bill to amend the Lottery and Gaming Act. “Our draft bill has now gone out for consultation with stakeholders and has been specifically circulated to each of the racing controlling authorities, the SA Bookmakers’ League and SATAB. The draft bill seeks to prohibit the establishment and conduct of a betting exchange in SA and create offence provisions for any person in South Australia who makes a bet with any betting exchange, regardless of its location. It also seeks to stop any wagering provider not licensed in South Australia, whether that be a bookmaker, TAB, on-course totalisator, or betting exchange, from publishing race field information without first having obtained approval from the relevant racing controlling authority—whether that be TRSA, HRSA, or GRSA. “Betfair, and any other betting exchange, has the potential to cause irreparable damage to the racing industry. Our concerns range from probity issues to the potential for criminal activity. “Potential problem gambling issues and diminished financial returns to both the racing industry and to Government are also, in my view, unwanted bi-products of betting exchange activity. “We will take every possible step to severely curtail the operation and impact of exchanges on the South Australian racing industry.
For further information contact Wendy Glamocak on 8463 3438 or 0434 075 995