Australian Online Gambling Dressed Down By Senator Xenophon

Published Thursday, August 11, 2011 -
Australian Online Gambling Dressed Down By Senator Xenophon

According to an article recently in The Age an online news portal from Australia the Senator who has in the past caused a big sensation in the Australian gambling scene has again slammed the industry.

Senator Xenophon is calling a marketing technique employed by online betting agency ‘unconscionable’. has admitted it pays millions of dollars to third parties for referrals, with potential clients often being offered free wagers.
The anti gambling Senator says he will amend a proposed bill for online gambling, being considered by the Parliamentary inquiry, to ban such commissions.
Cormac Barry, Sportsbet’s Chief Executive Officer told a Parliamentary inquiry into interactive and online gambling recently that the agency paid between $3 million and $4 million a year in commissions to businesses and individuals who referred new clients to their business.  Mr. Barry also revealed that Sportsbet did not tell new gambling clients that commissions were being paid on their gambling activities.
This statement prompted Independent Senator Nick Xenophon to ask if Mr. Barry was aware that not disclosing commissions may be in breach of secret commissions legislation, which varies from state to state. Barry replied, ''I'm not familiar with that particular piece of legislation,''
Barry did say the practice was standard and that third party agents network within racing clubs and professional gambling circles and then refer people to agencies. Barry continued, ''Third parties can be on a finder's fee or they can gain a share of revenue from the customer, so an affiliate share,''

Recently Sportsbet divulged it had forgiven a massive $80,000 debt incurred by a problem gambler in Melbourne who was reportedly enticed by Sportsbet’s $5000, free bet promotion. The company is able to offer credit because it is registered in the Northern Territory where as online betting agencies in other states are not allowed to extend credit.
Other issues are still on the table in Australia as it comes to grips with federal legislation on gambling reform.




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