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Betfair Begins Court Challenge Against Racing NSW

Tuesday, 7th October 2008

Betfair announced it has begun proceedings in the Federal Court Of Australia against Racing NSW's new 1.5% turnover fee (introduced from September 1 via its "racefields legislation"). The action revolves around section 92 of the Australian Constitution (interstate trade & commerce), the same section under which Betfair succeeded in an action against the Western Australian government earlier this year. Betfair's director corporate & business affairs Andrew Twaits commented: "We're happy to pay a fee to the NSW racing industry on all our wagering revenue, but the turnover fee imposed by Racing NSW is highly discriminatory. The fee equates to around 60% of our gross revenue, but less than 10% of TAB's revenue. Racing NSW is fully aware that it's impossible for us to compete on those terms. They've left us with no option but to challenge the validity of the decision. The only fair basis on which to charge for race fields is to implement a gross revenue model, where every wagering operator pays at the same rate. That way, even if there is any transfer of customer expenditure from the TABs to other wagering operators, the NSW racing industry will continue to get the same proportion of revenue from every dollar spent by punters."

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