It’s been a good week for PBL, the
Packers and especially young James. Dad Kerry’s health might be worsening but chairman James has been
racking up winners with the proposed joint venture with the UK Betfair
betting agency set to go ahead after the Tassie Government
this morning issued Betfair a licence to operate.

PBL had
made its Betfair joint venture conditional on the
agency (which allows for horses to be backed to
lose) gaining an Australian licence. Sections of the horse racing industry have vowed to try
and block it in the Tasmanian Upper House, but the government only needs three
votes to approve it.

Some
investors think this will be a big deal for PBL, but analysts point out that the
Packers will make more money from their 25% stake in seek.com or from their half
share in Premier Media Group ( Fox Sports).

Last
week the AFL and PBL announced a deal by which bets could be placed on AFL games
through an exclusive deal with Betfair. Betfair has so far gained around 5% of the UK gambling market but has been
having trouble boosting this further.

The
successful joint venture will add to PBL’s existing
gaming businesses in Australia which includes the Crown and
Burswood Casinos. Perhaps
the Nine Network will suddenly become interested in broadcasting horse racing
in Australia, or doing a deal with either
Sky Channel or new rival, TVN, to try and build some synergies with Betfair.