Betting Exchange Controversy Heats Up

Published Thursday, October 08, 2009 -

Originally called "open-market betting", in June of 2000 it started a whole new era in the world of gambling. The name was changed, by the media and the associated industry, to "betting exchange".

Betfair embraced a pure exchange model with flare now controling  a reported 90% of global exchange activity. Betfair's strength has been not come without critics and setbacks. It has broken the ice on the kind of bet a person can make. It empowers the punter one Betfair spokesperson said once. The advent of the betting exchange has given rise to new types of gamblers those who wager on all possible outcomes which includes a horse loosing the race or a team finishing last. Traditional betting firms in the UK maintain this type of betting attracts corruption and match fixing. Now betting exchanges are on the defensive once again this time in France.

The newest amendment to the online gambling laws from the French parliament has effectively banned betting exchanges. Among them one of the largest, Betfair. The Guardian newspaper reported recently, that this could have implications for other countries like Britain. The dislike for betting exchanges is obvious among traditional online books in the UK and now betting exchanges are been treated as 'different' on the continent.

Betfair, has described the amendment to the law as 'discriminatory.' Mark Davies, Betfair's managing director, speaking to The Guardian newspaper said, "We will consider our position. It is fairly clearly discriminatory against the biggest and most competitive online operator in Europe. It is a slap in the face for the consumer."

A 2007 report from the British Gambling Commission seems to be the base for the last minute amendment to the French online gambling legislation. This tactic worked well in the USA as a couple of senators slipped a change into the popular but unrelated port security act at the very last minute. The new prohibition on certain forms of gambling would become the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act in the USA. It is expected that Betfair will seek legal council on the issue.

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