Gambling case to cost WA taxpayers $500,000

Following its failure to ban internet betting in Western Australia (WA), it has been revealed by the Racing and Gaming Minister Ljiljanna Ravlich that the state government is going to have to foot a legal bill of nearly $500,000 (AUS) – which will probably be funded by WA taxpayers.

In March of this year, the WA government attempted to stop the betting exchange Betfair from offering bets to WA customers. However, the High Court rejected the legislation as unconstitutional.

Ms Ravlich is certainly not coy about the cost of the case and obviously believes that honesty is the best policy.

"I'd say it would be in the order of probably the half a million mark (AUS dollars) if that, probably less," she said.

"Anywhere between 200-thousand through to half a million, but I don't have the final figure on it. I haven't been presented with the final figure, but I'm quite happy to make that public. You go to court to appeal a decision of the court which is a matter of public interest, naturally the involvement of lawyers means that it is going to be costly.

"At the end of the day I am quite happy to make that public because there is no state secret."

Across Australia in Victoria, Betfair are at the centre of another controversy. The Office of Gaming and Racing are attempting to stop bookies from betting with Betfair on course and are threatening to revoke the betting licences of the guilty bookies should they continue.

Editor, - 2008-05-14 11:12:12

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