Andrew Twaits, Betfair’s Australian chief executive, is keen to offer financial betting as well as online poker and casino games to Australians.
Twait feels that the Australian gaming industry will soon see new foreign competitors such as William Hill, Coral and Ladbrokes entering the domestic gambling market.
There has been enormous interest in the Australian industry ever since a recent Productivity Commission draft report recommending extensive easing of online gaming laws. An example of this interest is the fact that Ireland-based Paddy Power has bought control of Sportsbet and IASbet. William Hill and Ladbrokes are also contemplating a takeover of Centrebet.
Mr Twaits was reported as saying "I think Australia is going to be squarely on the strategic map of a lot of those international businesses, so you will probably see more players come into the market”
"William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral are companies that I would expect -- whether it's through acquisitions or starting up themselves -- to start to look at entering the Australian market at some point in the next year or so."
Betfair’s highest priority is to establish an online casino and to offer live online betting while events are in progress. Although both of these are banned at present it would be allowed under the commission’s draft report.
Twaits added that “You have a handful of massive international gambling companies that are treating Australia like a regulatory backwater, that are routinely and systematically offering online poker and casino products to Australians,".
Twaits is also worried that illegal offshore operators will soon be capturing too much of the market share.