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Monday, January 16, 2006

Betfair licensing in Tasmania

Media Release

Shadow Minister for Racing
Monday, 16 January 2006

Betfair licensing in Tasmania
a cloud over the racing industry

The State Liberal Team, whilst not reflecting on the independent work of the Gaming Commission who are only responsible for investigating the bona fides of gaming organisations, are not convinced that the licensing of Betfair will be beneficial to the racing industry in the long term, Shadow Racing Minister Sue Napier said today.

Mrs Napier said that the Gaming Commission is not responsible for investigating such matters as the secretive dealings Premier Lennon had with Betfair and PBL which have all the stench of cronyism and arrogance. Nor is it their responsibility to consider the implications that licensing betting exchanges in Australia will have on the integrity concerns of the racing industry.

“There are matters outside of the scope of the Gaming Commission that the Lennon Labor Government refused to discuss let alone allow appropriate consultation with the Tasmanian public,” Mrs Napier said.

“The racing industry repeatedly asked to be provided a proper analysis of the business case and implications for the Tasmanian racing industry before licensing Betfair, or come to that any other betting exchange, but the Premier refused.

“Premier Lennon has been highly secretive over Betfair and has been outrightly dismissive of any criticism of his dealings or statements about Betfair.

“For instance, investment bank and financial adviser to Betfair, Morgan Stanley, said recently in a report that the financial returns predicted by Premier Lennon and Betfair are dangerously high and exaggerated and the benefits espoused by the Premier may not ever occur.

“Whilst the behaviour by Premier Lennon at the Melbourne Cup Carnival and his Villa 3188 upgrade at Crown Casino just days before his decision to licence the gaming organisation, are, at best, foolish and arrogant and, at worst, opens up the perception of corruption. This was coupled with him, three times, failing to tell the truth when questioned in Parliament.

“No matter what decision the Gaming Commission have made, the stench of cronyism and secrecy will always surround Premier Lennon when it comes to Betfair being licensed in Tasmania,” Mrs Napier said.

For more information, please contact:
Patrick Clancy (03) 6233 2505 or 0411 279 252


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