Betfair moving to Northern Territory

betfair-australia-northern-territory-betting-licenseOnline betting operator Betfair Australia says it’s shifting its down under business from Tasmania to the Northern Territory.

This spring, Northern Territory politicians approved legislation allowing its online gambling licensees to offer exchange betting. Gaming Minister Peter Styles made no bones about his intention to “lure” Betfair from its existing licensing jurisdiction of Tasmania.

On Friday, The Mercury confirmed that Betfair had signed a new licensing agreement with the Northern Territory Racing Commission, the licensee of choice for the majority of Australia’s online betting operators. The new relationship will formally commence as of Sept. 20.

Despite the licensing shift, a Betfair spokesperson said its Glenorchy office “remains the backbone of our operations, and that’s why we will be maintaining jobs in Tasmania.” The spokesperson didn’t indicate how many of the 50 staff working at the Glenorchy office would be retained.

While Betfair will still have to pay product fees from wagers made on the Tasmanian racing industry, The Mercury claimed the Tasmanian government stood to lose up to $3m per year in revenue from the shift. Under the NT’s exchange betting regime, Betfair’s annual tax and licensee fees will total a mere $805k.

In related news, Betfair has announced that it will phase out its separate ‘Australian wallet’ effective Sept. 20. Previously, Betfair’s international customers had to transfer funds from their main account to the Aussie wallet in order to bet on Australian and New Zealand sporting events. The wallet’s demise is a direct result of the new NT license.

Customers have been urged to transfer their funds from the Aussie wallet to their main accounts before the Sept. 20 deadline, after which all funds will be automatically returned to their main accounts.

While Betfair is now part of the Paddy Power Betfair behemoth, Betfair Australasia is 100% owned by Aussie casino operator Crown Resorts, which acquired the 50% stake they didn’t already own in 2014. Crown also holds a two-thirds stake in CrownBet, the online betting site formerly known as BetEasy.