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Exchange wagering axed by Betfair in Austria

Betfair, the online betting exchange, has recently informed its Austrian clients that the company is pulling its exchange wagering option from the country effective July 14. Customers have been receiving  informing them to wrap up any outstanding bets on the exchange, meanwhile reassuring them that they will be able to continue enjoying Betfair’s casino and poker and fixed-odds betting products.

No press release has been yet issued by Betfair on the subject, but assumptions are that the decision was taken after the financials coming from the exchange were scrutinized. In possession of a valid online gambling licence in Austria for nearly a decade, the company might not be done with reducing its number of operations in markets beginning with “A”. Rumors spread that Betfair was looking to sellf 50% of its shares in the Australian division to its local partner, Crown Resorts Ltd casino operator.

Estimated figures show $47.3m in losses since its 2007 launch for Betfair Australia and Breon Corcoran, the Betfair CEO has been on a cost-reduction mission since he came to take over the position in August 2012, a strategy which has only recently begun to show positive results.

In another order of thoughts, the Austrian land-based options seem to be increasing in contrast with the online gambling alternatives constantly decreasing after the Betfair notice was issued. Novomatic Group has confirmed it has been granted two casino licenses, Gauselmann Group and Stadtcasino Baden Group acquiring fresh casino licences themselves.

The Ministry of Finance has invited Novomatic to expand its Casino Admiral Prater slots hall in Vienna into a fully-fledged casino and to build a casino from scratch in Bruck an der Leitha in Lower Austria. Novomatic expects that the twin establishments will result in the creation of 500 new jobs.

Betfair continues to operate its exchange services in Malta, having several licences under the local regulatory body, the Lotteries and Gaming Authority.

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