Tuesday October 29,2014 : AUSSIE BETTING EXEC APPEALS FOR ACTION AGAINST UNLICENSED OPERATORS
Tabcorp chief also seeks taxation harmony across Australia's provinces.
Paula Dwyer, CEO of Australian betting giant Tabcorp told investors this week that the company is currently in talks with the Australian national government through which it hopes access to offshore internet gambling operators will be blocked.
Dwyer says this is necessary to shield Aussie consumers, protect tax revenues and the integrity of sports events, and halt the flow of wagering money out of Australia,
"There are estimates that as much as 14 percent of betting by Australian-based customers is conducted with operators who are not licensed in Australia,” Dwyer told shareholders at the $3 billion company's annual general meeting.
The flow of money to foreign bookies is risking the integrity of sport and siphoning revenue that should be returned to the community and racing industry, she claimed.
Dwyer said there were precedents for government action against foreign online gambling operators, giving as examples French enforcement actions and quoting similar arrangements that will come into force in Britain next week.
"Tabcorp's view is that a similarly powerful response is needed in Australia, and we are in active dialogue with the Federal Government on this issue," she revealed.
The contentious matter of ISP blocking has been raised before by previous Australian federal governments and caused uproar with freedom of the internet activists and opponents of government censorship
William Hill Australia chief executive Tom Waterhouse recently voiced fears that in-play betting offered by offshore internet gambling sites are a competitive threat because under Australian law in-play betting is allowed via telephone or in person, but not over the internet.
Dwyer is also campaigning for more tax harmonisation across Australia's provinces, saying that operators who base themselves out of the Northern Territory or Norfolk Island are able to exceed the payouts Tabcorp can offer because they pay less tax and racing contributions.
"[This is] because they are licensed in regimes … where different requirements enable them to return significantly less to the racing industry than the TABs," she said.