Betfair ups NRL commission to withstand new costs

27 May 2020

Betfair will once again allow exchange wagering on the Australian National Rugby League (NRL) after the two parties agreed finalised a new integrity deal, though the agreement has forced the operator to increase the commission it charges on customer winnings.

While the terms of the new partnership have not been disclosed, it comes after Betfair suspended NRL markets in February this year, arguing that the fees being demanded by the league would mean offering odds on the sport was long longer viable.

As a result of this new deal, punters will now face a market base rate (MBR) of 10% for the remainder of the 2020 season, an increase on the 6% commission rate that had been in place for 2019. This means that if a bet stands to make a £100 profit, the player will have £90 plus their stake returned.

According to the operator, the rise was unavoidable as if the MBR had remained at 6%, then the NRL would have taken more than two thirds of Betfair’s revenue earned from rugby league betting markets in product fees.

Betfair added that when accounting for operating costs and relevant federal state and taxes, including point of consumption taxes, offering markets on NRL events at the old MBR would not be financially viable.

“While we are disappointed that a change to a 10% MBR has become necessary, we do congratulate the NRL for the work it has undertaken in getting the NRL season up and running again,” Betfair said.

Betfair also noted that the new rate is four times more expensive than the 2.5% MBR it currently has in place with the Australian Football League Aussie rules football competition. 

Confirmation of the new MBR comes as the NRL prepares to restart its season after it was temporarily halted due to the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) crisis.

The NRL will resume from tomorrow (28 May), with the AFL to follow on 11 June.