Online Gambling in NT Australia Skewed Say Punters

Published Monday, October 07, 2013 - Online-Casinos.com
Online Gambling in NT Australia Skewed Say Punters

The punters in Australia are starting to see the odds are not the best for them when they go online to bet. Ultra-low tax rates for operators in the Northern Territory of Australia are making huge profits for the sports books registered there.

According to figures last week from the Northern Territory Department of Business, turnover now surpasses $5.7 billion a year, on which the bookies leaked just $2.35 million in tax, a rate of 0.05 per cent. Profits were $469.2 million last year, shared among the 12 licensed bookies.

Some punters who have been winning are finding they are being shut out by operators who know the profit comes from losers. One punter Richard Irvine, told his story to BusinessDay online relating this issue to the public.

Irvine has had his accounts closed or severely restricted by all of the five top online bookmakers in the territory: Luxbet, Sportingbet, Sportsbet, Centrebet and Bet365.

Irvine said, ''The odds are locked in at the time of placing the bet, whereas the TAB totalizator system is a pool of money that is distributed by weight of money for a particular result. So, by not allowing you to bet fixed price with them, these bookies are effectively closing your account as well.''

Corporate bookmakers contacted by BusinessDay did not deny placing restrictions on accounts. A spokesman for Luxbet which is owned by Tabcorp said, ''It has not suspended customers solely for winning,'' adding ''It is standard global bookmaking practice as part of managing your book to place restrictions on some products for a very small segment of customers.''

Centrebet chief Michael Sullivan said the bookmaker ''had not banned a punter for four years''. But he agreed that his business reduced successful punters' outlays. The problem in the territory is that its tax take used to be higher, before Tasmania abolished all taxes for bookies in 2009 in favour of a flat $256,000 fee and in 2010, the territory replaced its turnover tax with a tax based on gross profits.

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