Betfair Offers Gambling on Australian Property Prices

  • Customers can bet on whether their house value will go up, down, or stay the same each quarter
  • Five new wagering options are being offered across eight Australian cities
  • Betfair's move comes as sporting events got canceled over the outbreak of COVID-19
graph showing property value fluctuations
Betfair is now allowing wagers on Australian property price fluctuations across eight cities. [Image:]

Available across eight cities

Global gambling operator Betfair has launched a new type of wager that allows customers in Australia to bet on their house market value.

The online gambling giant is offering bets on whether property prices will increase or decrease each quarter, and by how much. The option is currently available across the cities of Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Darwin, Hobart, Melbourne, Perth, and Sydney.

Results will be updated quarterly

Betfair’s new initiative relies on data from the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The office traditionally releases quarterly analysis that observes whether there have been positive or negative fluctuations in property prices from the eight cities in question.

five options per city: increase or decrease by more than 2.0%, increase or decrease by less than 2.0%, or no change at all

The wagers offered by Betfair are currently limited to five options per city: increase or decrease by more than 2.0%, increase or decrease by less than 2.0%, or no change at all. The operator claimed that “customer demands” had led to the move. Over AUS$6,463 (US$3,924) has been laid down so far on Sydney’s choices.

Sporting event slowdown

Some of the biggest sporting events in Australia have been canceled or suspended due to the outbreak of COVID-19. Other activities such as horse and dog racing were able to continue behind closed doors.

Casinos have closed completely after a ruling by Prime Minister Scott Morrison to shut all non-essential services such as food outlets, casinos, and gyms. This is expected to last up to six months.

If racing was to close completely, it could have a sizable impact on the Australian economy. According to Racing Australia’s recent report, the sport contributes AUS$9.5bn (US$5.76bn) to the national economy, with 4.2m people attending a race meet over the last year. The sport is currently banned in places such as the UK and Ireland. Tasmania also followed suit last week.

Virtual success stories

The UK has already seen great success from virtual races. More than £2.6m ($3.19m) was raised for the NHS from bets on the Virtual Grand National event, which was broadcast at the weekend.

The sporting event slowdown has also led to the rise of other, more niche wagers. Activities include drone racing, which was recently picked up by sports betting operator FanDuel and carried an initial prize offering of $3,000. It is hoped this will increase as audience figures grow.

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