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Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Betfair license the key to investment in Tasmania - Lara Giddings, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

Betfair license the key to investment in Tasmania - Lara Giddings, MHA - Tasmanian Government Media Releases

his week’s decision by Tasmania’s independent Gaming Commission to grant a Tasmanian Gaming Licence to Betfair Pty Ltd will result in millions of dollars of new investment in Tasmania.

Economic Development Minister Lara Giddings said today that now Betfair has been granted its licence to operate from 7 February 2006, the company would temporarily establish its $10 million-plus operations centre at the Technopark in Hobart, before finding more permanent premises.

“Betfair will be paying a full commercial rent while they are at Technopark,” Ms Giddings said.

“My interest in Betfair has been in the economic return for Tasmania, not just the benefits for our racing industry but the return for the whole of the Tasmanian economy.

“Because Betfair relies on cutting edge Information and Communications Technology to run its business, the operations centre in Hobart will create around 150 quality jobs in Tasmania in the first 2 years of the licence.

“This kind of investment in Tasmania is the key reason I am proud to be a member of the Cabinet which decided to allow Betfair to operate in Tasmania because it will establish Tasmania as an international service provider to the Asian region.

Betfair Director of Corporate and Business Affairs, Mr Andrew Twaits, said Betfair hope to have their new premises operational by April this year.

“Tasmania will be the base of our operations in Australia and we are obviously keen to have things up and running as soon as possible,” Mr Twaits said.

“Although our business relies heavily on leading edge technology, the people we hire will be just as critical to the success of our business in Australia.

“We expect to commence the recruitment process over the coming weeks. Initially we’ll be hiring people for roles in IT, market operations, telephone betting and customer service, with other positions to be filled as business begins to develop over the months ahead.

Mr Twaits said despite a common perception in the community, Betfair’s Operations Centre at Technopark was not a call centre.

“Part of the centre’s function is to provide customer support and trading desk services to our clients, but the core function of the business is technology,” Mr Twaits said.

“With an average staff age of around 30, our office in the UK is a dynamic place to work. We are an employer of choice in the UK and we aim to follow-suit in Australia,” Mr Twaits said.

Note to Editors:

1. In 2005 Betfair UK was named the “Best Place to Work in IT” in the Computer Weekly Awards. The judges said: “Betfair has a positive working environment with an emphasis on encouraging team work. Betfair UK’s 120 IT professionals work with leading edge technology, and the importance of their function is recognised by the company, such that IT staff feel that they are a critical part of the company’s success. There are good opportunities for career progression both within technology or outwards to business departments.”

Further information: Tasmanian Government Co

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