Wednesday, December 01, 2010
Australia Race Fields court case

IFHA News No.10 (2010)
To: IFHA/FIAH Members
Date: 1st December, 2010

Racing NSW won a court battle over Bookmakers

 On 17th November, three Federal Court judges in Australia unanimously upheld the right of Racing New South Wales to impose a fee of 1.5% of turnover on all wagering operators for ‘race fields information’.

Betfair Australia (betting exchange) and Sportsbet (on-line bookmaker) each challenged the Racing NSW race fields fees which they claimed to be a breach of the Australian Constitution that guarantees freedom of trade between states.

The Federal Court dismissed both challenges.

The decision has enabled Racing NSW to utilize probationary collected AU$120 million.

The International Federation welcomes these extremely important decisions. They are a complete vindication of the principles which are stated in Article 28 of the IFHA International Agreement on Breeding, Racing & Wagering.

Every year at our International Conference we have been examining the implications for racing of changes to the betting market brought about by the internet; and at the 44th International Conference held in Paris on 5th October 2010 we conducted a session on internet gambling which reinforced the principle that all wagering operators must pay a fair return to racing.

In the Federation’s view race fields legislation achieves two essential things:

  1. It ensures fair and reasonable payment to the racing industry for the use of its races for wagering purposes; and
  2. It helps protect racing’s integrity by ensuring appropriate data from all wagering operators is shared with racing stewards.

The IFHA urges all governments to take action which ensures that racing always receives a just return from wagering on its races, whether the means of doing this is the licensing system that now exists in France, the race fields legislation that now exists in Australia, or some other workable mechanism.

For further details of the case, please contact: