We buy online punters: Sportsbet

Commissions under attack in Australian inquiry

Illegal bookmakers have always relied on “referral marketing”, but it’s now emerged that recruitment commissions cost Australian online betting agency Sportsbet as much as $AU4 million each year.

According to The Age, the online agency’s CEO Cormac Barry also conceded that new punters aren’t told about the commissions paid to get them betting – something which may be illegal under various laws covering secret commissions. Barry also said he isn’t familiar with such legislation.

The Gambling Reform committee was told by Senator Nick Xenophon – a high-profile campaigner against gambling – that the behaviour was “unconscionable”, and he would add an anti-commissions clause into legislation he has already introduced to control online gambling.

Barry told the committee that finders’ fees are common practice, and are paid either on a flat per-customer rate, or as a share of the punter’s losses as an “affiliate”.

The Herald Sun reports that the pernicious practice uses a sliding scale: the more the new punter loses, the better the introduction fee paid, making the commission structure look something like a pyramid scheme: cover your own losses by getting someone else to sling their money at Sportsbet. ®

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