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NSW Court Confusion 3: All Sides Claim Victory

Thursday, 17th June 2010

Meanwhile under the headline "Bookies Score Refund From Racing NSW", The Sydney Morning Herald reported the Federal Court "has found Racing NSW was wrong to discriminate in the fees it charged smaller bookmakers such as Sportsbet & must repay some of the money". The newspaper summed up: "In a complex decision that had all sides claiming some form of victory, Justice Nye Perram ruled the Darwin-based Sportsbet was right in its argument that fees charged by Racing NSW discriminated against interstate bookies, in favour of Tabcorp, which has an exclusive retail licence to run the NSW TAB." And the paper emphasised that "an explanatory note produced by the court" says: "The court has concluded that whilst it may well be permissible to impose a fee on all operators, regardless of their state or territory of residence, as a matter of fact that is not what has happened & was not what was intended to happen." The Herald reported Racing NSW representatives "said outside the court that they believe the judgement had vindicated their right to charge a fee based on turnover & that it showed the legislation allowing it to do that was valid". The paper also noted Justice Perram "dismissed a related case against the industry body (Racing NSW) by betting exchange Betfair. Betfair had argued fees should be charged to bookmakers on gross revenue, not turnover, as charging 1.5% of turnover disadvantaged low-margin operators in favour of the TAB." Betfair "plans to continue its push to have fees calculated on a new funding model". Betfair chief executive Andrew Twaits said he disagreed with the Racing NSW interpretation of the judgement that the court had found in favour of the turnover model. & declared: "He (Racing NSW chief executive Peter V'landys) must have read a different set of reasons!"

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