Australian Federal Court finds gambling regulations to be anti-competitive

The Federal Court today issued its decision in the case of Sportsbet Pty Ltd v State of Victoria. The court found that aspects of the Gambling Regulations Act of the State of Victoria acted as a burden on commerce and trade within Australia, and that they entrenched the competitive advantage held by Tabcorp, the incumbent provider of fixed-odds betting services, over new entrants such as Sportsbet.

Sportsbet had been prohibited from offering fixed-odds betting to patrons through computer terminals at a hotel, on the grounds that current gambling regulations granted exclusive rights to Tabcorp to offer fixed-odds betting at physical premises in the state of Victoria. Sportsbet, which is registered in the Northern Territories, claimed, inter alia, that the current regulations constituted a protectionist measure that discriminated against interstate businesses.

Frontier (Australia) was retained by the solicitors for Sportsbet and Philip Williams, Frontier’s chairman, gave evidence during the proceedings.

For more information, please contact Marita O’Keeffe at m.okeeffe@frontier-economics.com or call on +61 (0)3 9620 4488.

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