Ladbrokes, group that offers both land-based and internet betting in the United Kingdom, is competing for exclusive rights to offer sports betting in the Australian state of Victoria. The state government has named three contenders who are being considered to receive a license in 2012. Ladbrokes is going up against Australian betting firms Tabcorp (previously TAB) and their biggest competitor, Tatts.
The betting license up for grabs is a massive prize. It is a 12 year exclusive ticket which will give the licensee the right to run the first Victorian-based betting exchange, offering wagering and betting via off-course agencies. It will also give the winner the right to provide pari-mutuel and fixed-odds betting on racing, sports and other events such as political elections.
Ladbrokes, Tabcorp and Tatts were chosen out of many interested parties, including the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Irish sports betting giant Paddy Power, and Greek group Interlot. The Victoria government has been slammed in the media recently after it was revealed that Tabcorp made a late application and was still accepted into the bidding race, but no recourse has been made.
A final decision on who will be awarded the license is expected by the end of the year. All three firms are expected to make strong bits for the license, which is said to be worth hundreds of millions of dollars.
It is not yet clear whether or not the license will provide the successful bidder with the right to offer an online sportsbook in Australia. Ladbrokes currently accepts players from Australia, and both Tabcorp and Tatts already operate internet betting services, so presumably these will be allowed to continue, and it does not seem likely that the successful bidder will gain exclusive rights to internet betting in Victoria.