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Court Told Racing NSW "Plan To Eradicate Betfair"

Friday, 27th November 2009

Meanwhile final submissions began yesterday in the Betfair case (which started last week) with the betting exchange accusing Racing NSW of first planning to “eradicate them” and, when that did not succeed, “attempting to hobble its business with crippling fees” reported The Sydney Morning Herald. In his closing address, Betfair barrister Tony Meagher said the current fight over the size of fees paid to Racing NSW “had its roots in the industry's fight against the introduction of betting exchanges 5 years ago” & pointed to a media statement issued by the Australian Racing Board in August 2004 which said the industry wanted to “eradicate” betting exchanges such as Betfair & “all our efforts in every racing club & administration across Australia will go to eradicating their presence here.” Meagher noted Racing NSW's “initial response was to say betting exchanges should be eradicated, but when the High Court said we can't eradicate them, the response became more sophisticated. They began charging a fee by reference to turnover.” Betfair argues its services are not viable if the fee is based on turnover & Meagher said Racing NSW could not justify the fees (introduced in July last year) as “uniformly applied as a percentage of turnover” when Tabcorp had not paid a fee to Racing NSW calculated as a percentage of its turnover. He said only a month before the case began, Betfair discovered Tabcorp did not have to pay the fee to Racing NSW. The case continues today.

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