Betfair Looks For New CEO As Twaits Says Farewell
Just shy of his three year tenure as Betfair Australia CEO, Andrew Twaits will step down from his post at the world’s largest Internet betting exchange. The exact reason for his resignation is unknown, but Betfair isn’t waiting around and has already begun its search for his successor.
Twaits announcement comes less than three months after Betfair’s Global CEO David Yu tendered his own resignation. No date has been set for Yu’s departure, but now Betfair now has to replace both CEOs in the course of a few months.
Theory behind the resignation
Different factors may have played a role in Andrew Twaits’ decision to leave Betfair. The issue the media is paying most attention to is the landmark case that’s currently going on between Betfair and two of Australia’s racing bodies, Racing South Wales and Harness NSW . On August 30, the Australian High Court started hearing a case that would determine what fees Betfair and its competitors would have to pay Racing South Wales and Harness NSW to access trackside information.
Sportsbet is an Internet betting and entertainment website that won a similar lawsuit in June that’s similar to the case Betfair is currently embroiled in. Sportsbet argued that the taxes that the Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) racing bodies were demanding was unfair and discriminatory. The court found Sportsbet’s case extremely compelling and ruled in its favor. Sportsbet was awarded A$2 million from the settlement. Sportsbet won the case because the regulatory agencies had a clear reason to be biased towards its competitor, Tabcorp, which has exclusive rights to a retail license for provider wagering in NSW. This means NSW has a financial interest in protecting Tabcorp’s monopoly. The court agreed this was a conflict of interest which kept the racing bodies from being objective.
Betfair Australia argues that the levy imposed on it was designed to protect the profits of Tabcorp. Betfair Australia’s lawyers claim the regulatory bodies’ actions are a clear breach of the Australian Constitution, and hopes the court makes the same ruling it made in the Sportsbet case.
Did Twaits resign over this case?
Betfair’s case is still being heard, but is this reason enough for CEO Andrew Twaits to resign? Twaits hasn’t said whether the case between Betfair and the two racing bodies has anything to do with his departure. However, he hasn’t been shy about voicing his frustrations towards Racing NSW. Last December he said: “The default position adopted by Racing NSW when they can’t counter an argument with sound reasoning or contrary facts is to accuse the other side (normally Betfair, or me specifically) of ‘spin’.”
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