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NSW Court Confusion 5: Key Betfair Case Details

Thursday, 17th June 2010

Betfair argued the "race fields" fee based on turnover was a "burden on interstate trade" because it had a much larger impact on the commission earned by the betting exchange than it had on the commission earned by the TAB. However Justice Perram found the discrimination arose from the nature of Betfair's business model (a low margin operator) & dismissed Betfair's arguments why the fee was invalid as "not correct". However The Australian Financial Review noted: "The court opened the door for Tasmanian-based Betfair to receive refunds (on fees paid to date) even though it found it had not proved its case." Betfair chief executive Andrew Twaits commented his company "would consider the ruling before deciding whether to appeal, but would be seeking a refund based on the decision". Importantly, Twaits also told The Sydney Morning Herald: "There needs to be a change of attitude on the part of all parties, to sort something out & stop wasting money on lawyers."

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