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Australian Bookmakers Association (ABA)

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The Australian Bookmakers Association (ABA)

The Australian Bookmakers Association represents Australian bookmakers and state bookmaker associations. The ABA strives to protect the interests of the associations, their members and clients. It promotes the public image of bookmakers and encourages them to demonstrate responsibility, to be respectful and honest towards their clients and each other and to maintain client confidentiality, customer loyalty and best practice. The ABA serves as a link between the bookmakers, the Federal Government and the National Racing Administrators and Controlling Authorities.

Code of Practice

The ABA has developed a Code of Practice for the Australian bookmaking industry and encourages bookmakers to follow the code’s guidelines. One of the most important objectives of the Code is to ensure effective resolution of complaints. Every bookmaker is to co-operate with the controlling bodies in the resolution process, to respond promptly to written and oral complaints and to make an effort to solve the problem.

According to the codex, every bookmaker is to promote responsible gaming. Bookmakers are to follow statutory obligations, to keep minors from gambling and to provide warning messages about the effects of problem gambling and information about counselling organizations. They are to offer their clients access to their own wagering account records, to inform their clients of their betting policy and to refrain from proposing bets that are likely to have a negative outcome for the customer.

Furthermore, bookmakers should promote and support self-exclusion and inform each excluded person about counselling organizations.

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Concerning marketing and advertising, the bookmaker must not publish misleading advertising; advertising suggesting that gambling will improve the client’s financial status or making the client believe that he/she will definitely win. Moreover, advertising must not picture (or include in any other way) children involved in gambling activities or encourage the consumption of alcohol while gambling. Written advertisements must include directions to counselling services for problem gamblers. For more information about the ABA Code of Practice, please consult the ABA website. The ABA’s website also provides links to other sites related to the Australian bookmaking industry.


New South Wales

The NSW Bookmakers’ Co-operative Limited
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The NSW Bookmakers’ Co-operative Limited represents 95% of the licensed bookmakers in New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory (ACT). In case of a dispute or a bookmaker default, the client concerned may send a written claim to the Co-operative which then, after the legitimacy of the bet has been determined, undertakes the payment of the sum. Fortunately, defaults occur only rarely. Moreover, the Co-operative strives to ameliorate the product, service and conditions for bookmakers and punters and for the whole industry. A list of all members of the NSW Bookmakers’ Co-operative can be found on the ABA website under “NSW”.


In Queensland, the following five bookmakers are ABA members:

  • Lindsay Gallagher
  • Bob McHarg
  • Eric Phillips
  • Richard Fewster
  • Conway Searle

For details about the bookmakers, please consult the ABA website (section QLD).


The Victorian Bookmakers’ Association (VBA)

All bookmakers in the state of Victoria are members of the Victorian Bookmakers’ Association. The objectives of the VBA are:

  • to support the development of the bookmaking industry
  • to help clients with difficulties concerning their bets and to provide information about support services
  • to ameliorate the public image of the bookmaking industry
  • to promote the responsible delivery of wagering products by developing programs and guidelines
  • to develop guidelines for the advertising and marketing of the bookmaking industry
  • to respect government policy relevant to the bookmaking industry

The VBA also encourages its members to act according to the guidelines of the Bookmaking Industry Code of Practice developed by the ABA. A list of members can be found on the VBA website.

Other states

The ABA includes members from New South Wales, South Australia, Queensland, Tasmania and West Australia. The sections of the ABA website dedicated to SA and TAS are currently under construction and, according to the site, bookmaker information for these states will be coming shortly (as of July 2013).

Contact details

  • Mailing address
    ABA Pty Ltd
    Level 2, 198 Pitt St
    NSW, 2000
  • Phone: +61 (0)2 9267 7605
  • Fax: +61 (0)2 9247 4147
  • E-mail: bookies@citytatts.com.au

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