Friday September 12,2014 : BAD NEWS FOR ONLINE SPORTS BETTING OPERATOR
Aussie exposure for Betjack.co.
The Australian spotlight is focused unwaveringly on Vanuatu-licensed online bookmaker Betjack.co operator Butterscotch Holdings (Vanuatu) this week amid allegations that punters are not being paid their winnings.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported Friday that racing authorities in Australia have launched an investigation into allegations of no-pay made by Aussie gamblers.
The investigation could have serious implications for Betjack, which has hired extra staff for its Gold Coast call centre and is busy gearing up ahead of the spring racing carnival.
The newspaper reports that despite its Vanuatu licensing, the company has Australian bank accounts into which it has accepted Aussie wagers.
"Offering bets to Australians from overseas is illegal, attracting a fine of up to A$340,000 a day, and offshore bookmakers do not pay Australian tax or licence fees to racing and other sports," the newspaper notes.
Bernard Saundry, the chief executive of Racing Victoria which is conducting the investigation, has called on the federal government to take action against Betjack and other offshore operators.
"They are parasites who have been paying no returns to the Victorian racing industry for the use of our product, nor are they complying with our integrity requirements as approved wagering operators are obligated to do through information sharing and compliance," he said.
The SMH reports that punters at a Melbourne golf club are allegedly owed amounts of up to A$150,000, which they have been trying to recover without success for a year.
Another punter allegedly lodged A$50,000 in his Betjack account, which after a winning streak swelled to A$250,000. Unable to withdraw the whole amount, he was eventually paid back his original A$50,000 and told never to bet with Betjack again.
Complaints of slow or non-payment on internet betting forums date back to last year, the newspaper claims, with the operator giving "dodgy" excuses for not paying timeously.
Fairfax Media, the parent group for the SMH, claims that Gold Coast-based company Parkview Corporate Services (PCS), controlled by St Kilda man Jeffrey Myles Kemp, is linked to Betjack and holds accounts with the Westpac and ANZ banks.
The media company tracked a person associated with the company and found she was the registrant for domains linking to the main Betjack.co website. Neither Kemp or the tracked woman returned calls from the media group.