Monday, July 10, 2006
Betting exchange takes major step in Australia

On 7 July, Victorian racing stunned the racing world by allowing betting exchange Betfair, the company it has been fiercely opposing during the last few years, to use its racing product for wagering purposes outside its state.

In a press statement by Racing Victoria, the state’s racing authority, it was said that Betfair agreed to make and appropriate economic contribution to the Victorian thoroughbred racing industry and that its meets the integrity requirements.

The racing authorities in most other parts of the world continue to ban exchange betting for the same reasons mentioned by Racing Victoria. They reject the economic contribution by exchange betting, which is around 0.2% of betting volume compared to the 4 to 15% contribution by pari-mutuels. Opponents also point at the many recent corruption scandals in a variety of sports that are instigated by the exchange's possibility to bet on someone to lose, rather than win a sports event.

The approval of exchange betting on Victoria Races is by means of an authorisation of the use of its race field data, owned by the racing authority. It will take immediate effect.