Posted 2.8.11 : Betfair's senior Australian exec says the best protection is a well-regulated environment with appropriate controls
The top man in online betting exchange Betfair's Australian operations, Andrew Twaits, flew into Hobart, Tasmania this week to inspect the company's new facilities, and voiced the opinion that the best way to protect vulnerable members of the public from online gambling was to regulate and control the pastime.
Speaking to The Mercury newspaper, Twaits said that unregulated markets in parts of the United States and the Indian subcontinent proved there could be issues with online betting, but with the right checks and balances it did not have to be that way.
"The best response to protect the most vulnerable members of the community is to have a well-regulated environment with the appropriate controls around harm minimisation," he said.
He also pointed out that Betfair has offered pre-commitment – a strategy favoured by the federal government – for some time. "We were one of the first … operators in the country to offer voluntary pre-commitment so you can predetermine how much you can deposit per day, per week or per month — or lose per day, per week, per month," he said.
Betfair renewed its Tasmanian licence last year for a period of ten years. "We are established here now with 120 or so highly qualified, very loyal staff," he said, adding that his company paid more taxes than other betting agencies despite a recent and much-criticised reduction in the rate.