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NSW Court Confusion 6: Racing NSW Official Statement

Thursday, 17th June 2010

Last night Racing NSW issued the following statement: "Justice Perram delivered judgment today in the Federal Court challenges by Betfair & Sportsbet & found that the Race Fields Legislation & Regulations are valid. His Honour found that Betfair had not proved its case in that its arguments as to why the Race Fields Fee was invalid were not correct. In the case of Sportsbet, Justice Perram accepted that overcoming the issue of 'free riders' on the NSW thoroughbred racing industry was a legitimate object. However, his Honour ruled that the way the Race Fields Fee was applied was invalid. The reasons his Honour found in favour of Sportsbet included his interpretation of a commercial settlement of a dispute with Tabcorp & his view that a $5 million fee-free threshold imposed by Racing NSW was intended to protect NSW bookmakers. Whilst Racing NSW does not accept these findings, one immediate consequence of the judgment is the removal of the existing $5million fee-free threshold & all wagering operators (including Sportsbet & other corporate bookmakers) will now be required to pay more. Racing NSW takes issue with a number of the findings in the Sportsbet judgment & is taking advice on its rights to appeal. In respect of the considerable Race Fields Fees collected to date, Racing NSW is exploring all available avenues to retain & distribute that essential funding to the thoroughbred horse racing industry in NSW."

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