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Emily D. Swoboda

Sportsbet Challenges NSW Ad Restrictions

26 June 2008

A challenge to New South Wales' online gambling advertising ban could result in a clarification of the validity of the law.

Sportsbet, an online sportsbook in the Northern Territory, has instigated a legal battle with the New South Wales government over the company's right to advertise its services at a recent racing event in Sydney.

Centrebet International Ltd., another Northern Territory bookmaker, complained to the government after Sportsbet distributed advertising leaflets at the Rosehill racecourse in April.

For its part, Sportsbet was advised to desist by the government, reports the Sydney Morning Herald.

However, a March 2008 decision by the Australian High Court in favor of Betfair, against the government of Western Australia, has left the New South Wales government vulnerable to allowing online bookmakers to advertise in the state.

Betfair, an international online betting exchange, challenged a law in Western Australia that banned betting exchanges from offering bets to residents of the state.

The company argued that Western Australia was in violation of Section 92 of the constitution, which preserves freedom of trade between the states.

Graham West, gaming and racing minister for New South Wales, on Wednesday admitted to The Morning Herald that the Betfair case puts into doubt the advertising restrictions.

"The Betfair case brings into question the validity of our restrictions on advertising by Internet bookmakers of all types and means our laws are subject to legal challenge," Mr. West said.

Meanwhile, Sportsbet is fighting another court battle against Racing Victoria Ltd. over legislation which requires corporate bookmakers to pay a fee to publish Victorian race fields.

Sportsbet Challenges NSW Ad Restrictions is republished from
Emily D. Swoboda
Emily D. Swoboda