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Xenophon wants to ban betting commissions

Australian independent senator Nick Xenophon has a new target in his war on gambling. During a parliamentary inquiry into online gambling, which is being conducted in relation to his legislation to restrict and ban forms of the activity, he called out Sportsbet and the practice of using commissions.

During the parliamentary inquiry, Cormac Barry, the CEO of online betting agency Sportsbet.com.au, admitted that his company pays millions to third parties to refer gamblers to them. Barry said that they paid between $3 million and $4 million per year in commissions to businesses and individuals who refer new clients to them. They would network at racing clubs and different gambling circles and then refer gamblers to Sportsbet.

During the inquiry, Barry said that those clients who were referred to Sportsbet were not told that commissions were paid on the referral. That could be in violation of Australian laws against deceptive conduct. Senator Xenophon asked Barry if he broke any laws by not disclosing the commissions. Barry said “I’m not familiar with that particular piece of legislation.”

Different states have different laws regarding the matter, which is why Xenophon has decided to take on the issue at the federal level. He said that he intends to add a ban on betting commissions to his online gambling legislation. Senator Alan Tudge, who is co-sponsoring Xenophon’s bill, said that the practice is “immoral, unconscionable and should not continue. We need to take action to break this business model.”

Barry said that paying commissions for referrals is common practice. Sometimes the referrer gets a “finder’s fee,” while at other times they “can gain a share of revenue from the customer, so an affiliate share.”

Tags: Australia gambling, Nick Xenophon

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Categories: Casino, Gambling News
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