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Sportsbet Challenges NSW On-Line Betting Advert Ban

Tuesday, 1st July 2008

Industry insiders eagerly await official reaction to The Sydney Morning Herald revelation that "the Northern Territory betting agency Sportsbet has become the 1st company to take on the NSW Government over the advertising ban for on-line betting operators, in a stoush that could result in the controversial global betting giant Betfair winning its fight to advertise in NSW". The newspaper reported the Government "finds itself waging battle with Sportsbet through lawyers' letters, after the company decided to distribute leaflets advertising its services at Rosehill racecourse in April". Another internet bookmaking company Centrebet "complained about Sportsbet's practices & the Government advised Sportsbet to desist". But the newspaper noted "advice from the Crown Solicitor's Office to the Government indicates that because of a declaration by the High Court in favour of Betfair against the West Australian Government in March", the NSW Government "is vulnerable to having to allow internet bookmakers to advertise their companies" in NSW. And Sportsbet's lawyers "have written to the NSW Government saying it is allowed to advertise in NSW". Importantly NSW Racing Minister Graham West admitted: "The Betfair case brings into question the validity of our restrictions on advertising by internet bookmakers of all types & means our laws are subject to legal challenge." Sportsbet spokesman Nick Tyshing said his company believes the NSW Government had "tried to bluff it" with its warning on distributing the leaflets & Sportsbet was also "taking on Racing Victoria in the courts on its advertising ban."

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