Betfair Australia Inks Contract With National Rugby League

Betfair Australia has inked the National Rugby League (NRL) for an eleventh-hour contract, allowing punters to bet on each other as the season restarts.

Notwithstanding Betfair’s expectation that its revenue will collapse because its commission is ‘four times more expensive than the AFL,’ the agreement comes.

Betfair had previously declined to sign an integrity agreement with the league, revealed by the Sydney Herald, in protest at higher product prices, having broken off negotiations with the league in February.

Betfair has stated that it would increase its market base rate from 6% to 10% to offset the effects of the higher product fees.

Betfair Australia chief executive Tim Moore-Barton said: “We applaud the NRL for the incredible work that has gone on during lockdown to secure the NRL’s future and to bring the season back to its fans at the earliest moment possible.

“Unfortunately, their product fee model singles out high volume, low margin operators such as a betting exchange.

“If we kept the commission we charge customers flat on last year we would now be paying over two-thirds of our revenue in product fees – and that’s before other operating costs and taxes (including point of consumption tax) – therefore we have made the difficult decision to increase our commission on NRL to 10%

“The Betfair exchange appeals to customers that want better odds, that want to trade and to winners that can’t get on with fixed odds bookies – and unfortunately when we are forced to increase our commission rates turnover from these customers drops, or stops completely, which is no good for punters, for Betfair or for the NRL.”

The agreement comes as NRL ramps up preparations to resume this weekend, the 2020 season which was suspended because of the COVID-19 lockdown.