Betfair gains leeway in Australia

A High Court ruling in Australia on Thursday has opened up avenues for Betfair to advertise and operate in New South Wales after it ruled that West Australian legislation banning Betfair from operating in that state was unconstitutional.

According to the Sydney Morning Herald, the High Court found that Western Australia's ban on Betfair, which operates out of the United Kingdom, is unfair because it imposed protectionist burdens on interstate trade.

The ruling allows Betfair to operate in all parts of Australia, but the NSW State Government has no plans to drop its inquiry into Betfair after the ruling.


The Minister for Gaming and Racing, Graham West, confirmed in the Sydney Morning Herald he wants the head of the inquiry, Alan Cameron, to continue looking into all aspects of betting in NSW.

The inquiry includes bookmakers' conditions, TAB fixed odds betting and advertising laws.

Cameron was appointed to head an inquiry into Betfair and other wagering matters in December and is expected to report in July. He will continue to meet with the racing industry, which has strongly opposed the introduction of Betfair, as well.

According to the Herald article, Betfair had proposed to pay Racing NSW 27¢ out of every $100 bet, while bookmakers pay $1 and the TAB pays $5.

Betfair could be operating in the NSW before Cameron has a chance to release his report in July.

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