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Betting Giants Challenge NSW Advertising Restrictions

Friday, 11th July 2008

Betfair & Sportingbet Australia, 2 of the largest betting organizations, yesterday jointly issued proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia challenging the validity of laws in NSW that prevent interstate licensed wagering companies from advertising in the State. Explaining the decision, Andrew Twaits, Betfair's Director of Corporate and Business Affairs, commented: "We believe the laws are protectionist. What's more, they're depriving racing clubs and other stakeholders of a natural revenue stream in the form of advertising and sponsorship." Sportingbet Australia CEO Michael Sullivan said, "We believe this legislation is fundamentally flawed and it contradicts the spirit of business in Australia by restricting fair and open trade between the states. At a fundamental grass roots level, the NSW advertising ban against interstate wagering operators stops the punter from seeing the full picture." In response to the NSW government requiring all interstate TABs, bookmakers and betting exchanges to pay for the right to cover NSW racing, Twaites noted: "We're happy to pay a fair fee to the racing industry, but we have to be able to compete on a level playing field." And Sullivan summed up by declaring: "The wagering landscape in Australia has changed dramatically and so have consumer preferences. If racing wants to compete with the myriad gambling options available, then the governing bodies must embrace competition and move with the times."

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