Betfair in talks with New South Wales

Annette Obrestad
Betfair's number one player - Annette Obrestad.

Betfair could be very close to receiving an operating license in New South Wales, according to a story carried by the Australian Broadcasting Company.

NSW provides approximately 25% of the Web site's customers and Gaming and Racing Minister Graham West thinks the state might be missing out.

"Betfair is an Internet product so because it is already licensed in an Australian jurisdiction, it is easy for people to jump online and use it," he said in the story.

Betfair already has a deal in place with Tasmania that saw the state get paid $4 million AUD up front and the company is projected to pay Tasmania around $40 million AUD a year.

There will be challenges to getting the license, however. The New South Wales opposition, the National Party, has placed an emphasis on extreme caution when dealing with betting exchanges.

Shadow minister for gaming and racing George Souris pointed to the fact that betting exchanges are banned in many of the leading horse racing nations. He went on to say that they are potentially corruptible.

Of particular concern is that Betfair allows gamblers to place bets on losing horses.

Betfair spokesman Andrew Twaits responded by saying that the company has some of the most transparent business operating systems in the world.

Betfair is the world's largest betting exchange and has over one million clients. Betfair also runs an online casino and poker room. It recently made international news by hosting the inaugural World Series of Poker Europe. Betfair went on to sign the WSOPE Main Event winner, Annette Obrestad, to a sponsorship deal.

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