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Sportsbet ‘absolutely’ interested in retail betting move

Sportsbet retail
IN what would be an unprecedented move in Australia, online betting company Sportsbet said it would be “absolutely” interested in a retail wagering business if the conditions were right.

The Australian Competition Tribunal – which is currently deliberating over the proposed Tabcorp and Tatts merger – heard from Sportsbet CEO Cormac Barry, who said the company would move from the online realm to a real-world setting if certain criteria is met, including access to other betting pools and racing vision.

Barry was asked to give evidence to the merger tribunal on behalf of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

Sportsbet joined fellow corporate bookmaker, broadcaster and Racing Victoria in opposing the mooted $11 billion merger.

Tatts representative Rod Smith said it was in the “commercial interests” of the online bookmakers for the merger to not go ahead. sign-up bonus

Smith also told the tribunal that corporate bookmakers have benefitted greatly from tax concessions, and the merger needs to go ahead so they can compete.

“That competitive advantage has been a reason your company [Sportsbet] since 2009 has obtained the spectacular growth rates,” he said.

While the Sportsbet CEO conceded that his company had benefitted from the lower level wagering tax, but questioned whether the merger is being pushed to even the playing field.

The hearing will continue on Friday, when CrownBet executives, CEO Andrew Catterall and Racing Queensland CEO Eliot Forbes will give evidence. On Monday Racing Victoria CEO Giles Thompson will be cross-examined by lawyers.

The Tabcorp-Tatts merger is backed by all Australian racing industries with the exception of Victoria.

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