Australia Gambling – Sportsbet CEO Cormac Barry has made a stunning return of serve to former Victorian Premier Jeff Kennett following his negative comments about the online bookmaker industry.

Speaking at Racing Victoria’s open day earlier in the week, Kennett labelled corporate bookmakers ‘a cancer on racing’ and said his biggest mistake in office was the privatisation of the TAB.

In a statement released today, Cormac Barry labelled Jeff Kennett as irrelevant, ill-informed and out of touch with reality.

“Jeff Kennett’s primary concern appears to be that corporate bookmakers pay less money to the racing industry than Tabcorp. This in itself shows just how out of touch with the situation he really is,” Barry said.

“Kennett obviously isn’t aware of this, or chose not to mention it, but the reason Tabcorp pays more money to racing is because Tabcorp have brought the rights to operate a retail monopoly in Victoria and New South Wales, of which a condition is that they pay more fees to racing. The reality is that outside of these arrangements, Tabcorp pays the exact same fees to racing as we do.

Earlier in the week, Kennett said that online bookmakers were trying to take customers away from the TAB with novel bets.

“Their one objective at the moment is to try to destroy the major contributor of revenue to Racing Victoria,” he said.

“The are a cancer in our society. They are a cancer and they are destroying your industry and are destroying most sports.”