Betfair licence thought to hinge on race fee - Thursday 12th of May 2005

An annual $5 million racing fee could be at the centre of controversial moves to grant PBL and its UK partner Betfair an Internet betting exchange licence in Tasmania.

A key industry figure says the Victorian betting agency, Tabcorp, should waive the fee.Tote Tasmania pays the fee to Tabcorp so it can be part of the agency's betting pool. Tabcorp has already offered to cut the settlement fee by half, providing Betfair is not granted a licence.

The chairman of the Tasmanian Racing Club, Geoff Harper, says there is a strong chance the Tasmanian Government will not grant Betfair an online gaming licence if Tabcorp forgoes the entire payment and the money goes into the state's coffers. "I think the Government is looking quite rightly at Betfair as a source of replacement for that $5.3 million in revenue," he said.Mr Harper will be lobbying Australian Racing Board members to support his bid to scrap the Tabcorp payment when the board meets on the Gold Coast next week.

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