Betfair to challenge Australian legislation

Betting exchange specialist, Betfair, is set to challenge new Western Australian legislation that prohibits its residents from placing bets with Betfair and similar betting exchange companies. Any Western Australian customer that does so could face fines of up to $10,000 (AUS) or two years in jail.

Betfair claim the legislation violates Australia’s constitution through the prevention of free trade between states and are seeking for Australia’s High Court to make a declaration confirming their view.

"The legislation effectively prevents WA (Western Australia) residents placing bets with Betfair and prevents betting exchanges operating in WA,” said Andrew Twaits, Betfair’s director of Corporate and Business Affairs.

However, Betfair’s stance on the matter has not gone down well with the Western Australian government who feel Betfair are hounding the state into changing its laws. WA Minister for Racing and Gaming John Bowler said that Betfair have every right to proceed with a legal challenge but asserted that the state would not be “bullied” into changing its laws.

Betfair immediately hit back, dismissing the bullying claims.

“We understand the minister won't be happy that he has to deal with a challenge to legislation he inherited from his predecessor," Mr Twaits said.

"But exercising a legal right to challenge legislation that we believe is misguided and invalid does not amount to bullying."

Editor, - 2007-01-31 10:43:24

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