Category Archives: Australia

Betfair Australasia begs Aussie states for tax relief

betfair-australasia-tax-relief-pleaBetfair Australasia is warning Australian state governments that their plans to impose online betting point of consumption taxes (POCT) are going to blow up in their faces.

On Friday, the Brisbane Times disclosed the existence of a report prepared by the Betfair Australasia betting exchange urging the state governments in South Australia and Western Australia to rethink their decision to impose a 15% tax on all online wagers placed by their states’ residents.

South Australia began collecting its POCT last July, while Western Australia’s new tax is set to take effect on January 1, 2019. Australia’s federal government is also mulling imposing a national POCT in order to harmonize the country’s online taxation system.

Betfair Australasia, which is owned by casino operator Crown Resorts and licensed in the Northern Territory, warned the states that the tax hikes would force it to hike its own commission fees, which will cause “leakage” of its customers to internationally licensed online gambling sites that aren’t subject to the states’ tax grab.

Betfair CEO Tim Moore-Barton claimed to have endured numerous instances of high-volume bettors who shifted their action off his site in response to previous fee increases and in search of better value for their wagering dollar.

Moore-Barton further claimed that this leakage will not only reduce his company’s revenue – which will in turn reduce both the states’ tax take and contributions to racing bodies – but will also create an integrity “black hole” through the inability of state gaming regulators to monitor real-time betting data for suspicious patterns.

As ever, the Philippine-licensed CITIbet betting exchange was singled out in the report as the most likely beneficiary of customers forced off Betfair by fee hikes. CITIbet is often cited as the bête noire of Australian betting operators and racing stakeholders.

Other NT-licensed Australian online wagering sites will also struggle under the weight of the new taxes, possibly leading to a wave of down under consolidation. William Hill recently put its Australian operations under review, citing the POCT as well as new restrictions on both online in-play and credit betting.

Betfair Australasia’s future is marked by other uncertainties, including how long its owner Crown intends to keep it in the fold. In December, Crown announced it was selling its 62% stake in the CrownBet online betting site, part of Crown’s ongoing effort to reduce the scope of its operations to just its domestic resorts.

The CrownBet sale reduced Crown’s digital division to just Betfair and a Texas-based social gaming operation, neither of which seems to qualify as a land-based casino.


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Rockhold favorite to win UFC Interim middleweight title against Romero

An injury to middleweight champion Robert Whittaker has shaken up the betting odds for the main event at Saturday’s UFC 221 card in Perth, Australia. Instead of sitting as a solid underdog against Whittaker, challenger Luke Rockhold (16-3) is now a -160 favorite (bet $160 to win $100) versus No. 1 contender Yoel Romero (12-2).

Odds courtesy of

Rockhold favorite to win UFC Interim middleweight title against RomeroRomero is listed as a +130 underdog (bet $100 to win $130) and coming off a unanimous-decision loss to Whittaker for the interim title on July 8 at UFC 213 in Las Vegas, snapping an eight-bout winning streak. He got the call to fight for the belt again when Whittaker did not properly treat a staph infection in his stomach and was forced to withdraw from his originally scheduled championship bout against Rockhold.

Whittaker had been promoted to middleweight champion when Georges St-Pierre gave up the belt after defeating Michael Bisping at UFC 217 last November 4. The winner of Romero-Rockhold will then take on Whittaker at a later date to unify the titles.

Rockhold bounced back from a surprising first-round knockout loss to Bisping at UFC 199 nearly two years ago by submitting David Branch at UFC Fight Night 116 last September 16. He had earned the middleweight championship by scoring a fourth-round TKO of Chris Weidman at UFC 194 before relinquishing the title to Bisping.

Leading up to that matchup, a local favorite remains on the card in heavyweight Mark Hunt (13-11-1, 1 No-Contest), who will battle Curtis Blaydes (8-1, 1 NC) in the co-main event. The 43-year-old New Zealander picked up a fourth-round TKO of Derrick Lewis at UFC Fight Night 110 in Auckland on June 11 to break a two-fight winless streak.

Hunt is the +140 underdog and was knocked out in the third round by Alistair Overeem in his previous bout after a UD loss to Brock Lesnar at UFC 200 was later overturned to a NC because his opponent tested positive for a banned substance. He had won two in a row before that skid, knocking out Antonio Silva and Frank Mir, both in the first round.

Meanwhile, Blaydes is the -170 favorite and tested positive for marijuana a year ago following a TKO win over Adam Milstead at UFC Fight Night 104, turning that into a NC as well. Otherwise, he would be riding a four-fight winning streak, with his lone loss coming against Francis Ngannou, who just lost to Stipe Miocic for the heavyweight title.


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Australian online bookies face new taxes, bonus restrictions

australia-online-bookmakers-new-rulesAustralian online sports betting operators are facing new taxes and promotional restrictions as state governments continue efforts to rein in the nation’s only authorized online gambling activity.

On Thursday, the state government in Western Australia (WA) unveiled its latest budget, which included a 15% point of consumption tax (POCT) for online bookmakers who generate revenue from WA punters. The new tax, which will take effect January 1, 2019, makes good on a promise the WA government announced one year ago.

South Australia was the first Aussie state to introduce an online POCT, based on its belief that Northern Territory-licensed online bookmakers weren’t paying their fair due. This view was supported by domestic operators Tabcorp and Tatts, who have a physical presence across Australia and thus face a much higher tax burden.

The Responsible Wagering Australia (RWA) industry group protested WA’s plans, claiming that a go-it-alone approach will complicate the federal government’s plans to develop a national POCT policy.

RWA director Stephen Conroy claimed bookies are facing an effective tax rate of 40% on their WA punter revenue, and Conroy warned that operators will pass on at least some of these costs to WA bettors. This will encourage bettors to seek out more competitive offers from internationally licensed betting sites, which will result in “lower returns to the state’s racing industry and an increased reliance on government funding.”

Meanwhile, a meeting of federal and state ministers has agreed on new rules that will ban online bookmakers from offering punters certain types of free bets and other inducements.

On the chopping block are bonuses for new account signups and ‘refer a friend’ programs, and operators must allow punters to withdraw bonus bet winnings with no further turnover requirements.

Bookies will also require punters to ‘opt in’ to receive marketing pitches, and information on how to turn off these alerts must be made more accessible.

A national self-exclusion register must be operational by the end of 2017, while a voluntary pre-commitment scheme – under which bettors can set binding deposit limits – will be mandatory as of June 2018. New customers will also be prompted to set deposit limits when they open accounts.


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$2.3B Gold Coast casino project faces scrutiny over China gov’t links

The AUD$3 billion (US$2.3 billion) casino, apartment and hotel mega-project in Australia’s Gold Coast has been dragged into the spotlight for its alleged links to the Chinese government.

$2.3B Gold Coast casino project faces scrutiny over China gov’t linksAfter thorough legwork and research, The Australian found that the Sydney-based, ASF Group, which is behind a consortium tasked to build the multi-billion dollar construction project on the Gold Coast is backed by Chinese-based interests.

What makes it interesting, according to the news report, was the fact that these Chinese-based interests that hold the vast majority of shares in ASF have links to the Chinese government.

The report added that “there could be a backlash if it emerges the anti-gambling Chinese government is the key proponent of the project” since “China is detaining without charge three Australian Crown employees on suspicion of gambling.”

Citing data they culled in the field, ASF’s top 20 shareholders are dominated by Chinese investors and that none of the shareholders are Australian. ASF Group’s top shareholders included Standard Moral International Limited, Forever Grand Group and Ruby Bridge Group.

Specifically, 12 of the 20 shareholders were companies while the remaining eight are based in Hong Kong or Mainland China.

The ASF, according to the report, disclosed that its “consortium partners” include Chinese government-owned construction group China State Construction Engineering Corporation, a “tier-one ­casino operator” and “at least one other cornerstone entity.”

But ASF’s links to Chinese government is just the tip of the iceberg.

ASF reportedly lost AUD$92 million (US$69.5 million) of the AUD$102 million (US$77.08 million) it has raised from investors, prompting its auditors to sound the alarm bells on the “material uncertainty” on its ability to stay afloat.

It also raised eyebrows on the ability of the consortium to carry out the project “as it appears to have no experience in property development.”

Both ASF Group and Queensland State Development Minister Anthony Lynham declined to comment when asked whether ASF Group was a front and the project was in fact to be developed by the Chinese government.




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Shares of fantasy sports app SportsHero up in Aussie market debut

Singapore-based SportsHero is in for a good start in its debut on the Australian Securities Exchange with its share prices up in Wednesday’s trading.

SportsHero, which claims to be the world’s first social network dedicated to sports prediction, opened at a high of AU$0.06 versus its initial public offering (IPO) price of AU$0.05 per share.

Shares of fantasy sports app SportsHero up in Aussie market debutPrior to its debut, the company said that it was able to raise AU$3.2 million ($2.44 million) through the issue of 64 million shares. SportsHero’s listing came via a reverse takeover of Nevada Iron Ltd.

Dinesh Bhatia, CEO of SportsHero, said that the fantasy sports app firm will be focusing on customer acquisition, introducing additional sports, and enhancing the features and user experience while sustaining strong engagement among users over the next 12 to 18 months.

“The Board and management team look forward to creating accelerated value for our shareholders with the successful listing on the Australian Securities Exchange,” Bhatia said in a statement. “The listing will give SportsHero access to both domestic and international investors and the proceeds raised will allow the Company to advance the development and commercialisation of SportsHero on an Asian and global scale, including developing ecommerce and engagement features for further monetisation of the platform.”

SportsHero’s listing comes at a time when mobile penetration in Asia-Pacific and consumer demand and interest in sports are increasing.

Data provided by research firm Statista showed that there will be 2.3 billion smartphone users worldwide in 2017. SportsHero, meanwhile, pointed out that the sports industry has played a pivotal role in the worldwide economic growth.

In China alone, the government there is aiming their domestic sports industry to exceed US$727 billion (5 trillion yuan) in value by 2025. Pursuant to the recent prospectus the SportsHero mobile app has already seen a growing level of engagement with over 80,000 users and retention rates increasing.

“The Company looks to build the world’s largest social network dedicated to sports by bringing together sports fans from around the world and helping them make better predictions on the outcomes of games through harnessing the power of other fans within SportsHero’s social community. The Company’s largest shareholder, MyHero Limited is backed by investors including 500 Startups, Samsung Ventures, KPCB and IPV Capital,” the company said.



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Party seventeen recap – 2017 Aussie Tens of millions Poker Championship

Melbourne, Australia. Wednesday 27 January 2017. Party number seventeen No Limit Holden of the 2017 Aussie Tens of millions was a massive one particular, both in acquire-in and in turnout.

Event Seventeen - Recap 2017 Aussie Millions Poker ChampionshipThe $two,five hundred No Limit Hold’em party attracted a industry of 198, producing for a full prize pool of AUD$445,five hundred and a massive initial-place prize of AUD$111,385.

The two-working day party paid out a full of 21 players with a least pay back out of AUD$four,455. Lukas Soucek from the Czech Republic was the initial one particular to walk absent a winner, he completed in twenty first place.

LA Poker Typical and bracelet winner Dietrich Fast designed it to the cash as perfectly but he had to bow out perfectly in advance of the ultimate table was in sight. He completed in 19th placement for the same AUD$four,455.

Australian poker legend Grant Levy departed in ninth place for AUD$eleven,140, one more ultimate table on his presently remarkable poker resume.

The victory went to George Psarras from Sydney who was above the moon with his victory. Psarras only had 3 recorded cashes in advance of this earn but two of them were wins as perfectly, and one particular runner-up back in 2011. He doesn’t participate in a fantastic offer of poker, but when he does, he just wins.

The victory went to George Psarras from Sydney who was above the moon with his victory. Psarras only had 3 recorded cashes in advance of this earn but two of them were wins as perfectly, and one particular runner-up back in 2011. He doesn’t participate in a fantastic offer of poker, but when he does, he just wins.

Psarras invited all of his pals up the stage for the winner photo and was found expressing cheers all evening at the bar, purchasing everybody champagne.

Event Seventeen - Recap 2017 Aussie Millions Poker Championship

For even further media information and facts which includes pictures or participant interviews you should speak to:

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Company Affairs
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T. +sixty one 3 9292 8671



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William Hill Australia revives Centrebet brand name

william-hill-australia-centrebet-revivalBookmaker William Hill’s Australian division has revived its dormant Centrebet brand name only months right after streamlining its down beneath operations into a solitary company existence.

On Tuesday, William Hill Australia formally announced the rebirth of its Centrebet web-site and cellular app, which is becoming positioned as the household of the “serious” racing bettor. Hills Australia CEO Tom Waterhouse mentioned Centrebet was “the only option for all punters who want the ideal selling price and the only position the specialists can get a massive guess on.”

Hills obtained Centrebet in 2013 as portion of its £455m takeover of Sportingbet’s controlled sector business, then promptly announced that it would consolidate its whole Australian operations – such as Centrebet, Sportingbet and – beneath the William Hill Australia banner.

The laborious customer migration was at last done very last 12 months but this week’s announcement implies that the quantities didn’t assistance the brand name unification tactic, which had been meant to stay clear of “confusion” in the sector. Former Centrebet punters documented receiving electronic mail and social media arrive-ons in late December hinting at the brand name revival.

In a bid to woo back again the punters it forcibly migrated onto the Hills’ web page, Centrebet has fully commited to betting all punters to win A$5k on Saturday and A$two,500 on midweek metropolitan races in all states, not just Victoria and New South Wales, the place these types of minimums are the regulation of the land.

Athletics bettors are also becoming lured to the brand’s Electricity Wager sportsbook by betting on all punters to win at minimum A$10k on head-to-head and line markets, when giving the ideal charges on AFL, NRL, NBA, NFL, Grand Slam Tennis and Major Bash Cricket.

Meanwhile, Hills could have misplaced its Australian Open up courtside existence but the business is generating the most of its remaining privileges as the Open’s official companion. The business just debuted a new tv commercial, starring Aussie actor Axle Whitehead and a Kanye West soundtrack, to endorse the pace of its betting interface. The location, built by the Fenton Stephens agency, will be accompanied by a retail and built-in electronic campaign.