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.
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