Little public support for in-play betting in Australia, says Tatts Group

Tatts Group’s Robbie Cooke has said there is little evidence Australians have embraced live sports betting through illicit offshore websites.

Former NSW Premier Barry O’Farrell is leading a review for the federal government into Australia’s online wagering sector which is looking to regulate online live betting.

Earlier in December, Sportsbet warned the government that not allowing in-play betting forces more gamblers onto the offshore “black market”.

However, Tatts chief executive Robbie Cooke said there was little evidence to show support for in-play betting and the lobbying by international companies was simply to bring a new source of revenue to the fiercely competitive Australian market.  

Cooke also questioned a figure recycled by the O’Farrell inquiry that more than $1 billion is punted on over 2200 illegal offshore sites each year by Australians.

“Nobody has shown me any data which actually validates that number,” Mr Cooke said in an interview. “The suggestion there is all this money flowing offshore I think is a false premise,” Mr Cooke said.

Mr O’Farrell is due to submit his report to Social Services Minister Christian Porter on Dec. 18 with a formal response from the government due in 2016.