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Australia

 

 

The Northern Territory legislature passed legislation creating five new offenses related to cheating or fraud in sports betting. Offenses that carry a maximum penalty of seven years' imprisonment include corrupting a betting outcome or facilitating such a result, concealing conduct that corrupts a betting outcome from authorities or concealing an agreement to corrupt results, or using corrupt conduct information for betting. The use of inside information for betting will carry a top penalty of two years' imprisonment.

 

 

Echo Entertainment Group Ltd. provided Queensland Treasurer Tim Nicholls with a free hotel room at the Jupiters Casino at the Gold Coast last year, according to a declaration of interests filing. Nicholls told the state parliament he had paid for his family's share of the accommodation costs and discussed the stay with the integrity commissioner. Echo is seeking to develop a new casino in central Brisbane on government land and preserve its hold on the state capital against a proposed Crown Ltd. casino.

 

Five pubs and a club in New South Wales were fined A$38,500 ($35,400) for allowing machine gambling during their three-hour daily shutdown periods. State Hospitality Minister George Souris said the breaches were detected during audit of the venues' machines and confirmed by closed-circuit video recordings. Four of the six venues were in Sydney, one in Wollongong and one in Newcastle. 

 

Hong Kong businessman Tony Fung has raised the pressure on Queesland officials and community leaders to quickly rally behind his plans to develop the A$4.2 billion ($3.8 billion)  Aquis Great Barrier Reef casino resort in Cairns. "I won't say that if I don't get approval by such and such a date that I will walk away," he told the Australian newspaper. "But there should be a cut-off. The window of opportunity that is available to us is limited in timeframe."

 

The Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation has warned Crown Ltd. that it will be "monitoring current and future investments closely, including Melco Crown's investment in the Philippines and any possible Crown Group investment in Sri Lanka'' for compliance with anti-corruption laws in its five-year review of the operator's suitability to operate the Crown Casino in Melbourne, its largest property. The regulator added it "remains cautious about Crown Ltd.'s expansion into countries with public sector governance challenges."

William Hill, the largest UK bookmaker, agreed to buy Australia's Tom Waterhouse N.T. pty Ltd. in a deal worth up to A$110 million ($101.4 million). The deal came just days after Ralph Topping, William Hill chief executive, called Sportingbet, which his company bought for £459 million ($704.9 million) in March, "the last significant asset in Australia”.

A consortium involving New Zealand's SkyCity Entertainment Group Ltd. has pulled out of the running to build and operate a new Gold Coast cruise terminal out of concern odds are dimming that the state will issue a casino license to the winner. Unnamed sources told local media that SkyCity's group is worried that the state's increased focus on competing proposals for a new Brisbane casino from Crown Ltd. and Echo Entertainment Group Ltd. make a new Gold Coast license less likely.

Tabcorp’s net profit for the year ended June 30 declined 63 percent to A$126.6 million ($116.6 million) from a year earlier even though total revenue rose 2 percent to A$2 billion. The company was hit by a shift last August in its revenue split with Victoria racing groups to 50/50 from 75/25. As a result, revenue in its core wagering business slipped 4.8 percent to A$1.56 billion and earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) were down 26.9 percent to A$167.3 million. However, revenues from fixed odds betting rose 25.8 percent to A$404.2 million.

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