CONTINUEThis site uses cookies. By continuing to browse this site you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Find out more.
  1. Front Page
  2. News By Topic
  3. Sportsbet Wins Australian Fee Case

Sportsbet Wins Australian Fee Case

by Mary Swire,, Hong Kong

23 June 2010

Racing NSW has been ordered by the Australian federal court to repay Sportsbet more than AUD2m (USD1.75m) of a 1.5% turnover fee, which the judge regarded as having been collected in a "protectionist, discriminatory and unlawful manner."

The Sportsbet case hinged on the fact that on-course bookmakers only paid the fee if turnover exceeded AUD5m, with the result that almost all NSW (New South Wales) bookmakers paid no fees, such that the threshold discriminated against interstate bookmakers. Moreover he fees collected from Tabcorp and on-course bookmakers in New South Wales were, on the whole, returned to them via rebates.

According to Racing NSW chief executive Peter V’Landys, there was a commercial arrangement with Tabcorp, which operates the off-course totalizator in NSW, dating back to 1997, which enabled Tabcorp to obtain a refund of its fees.

Racing NSW racing bodies had imposed turnover fees since 2008, and the New South Wales government had said the legislation was to prevent interstate bookmakers (such as Northern-Territory licensed online bookmakers Sportsbet and Tasmania-licensed Betfair) from “free riding” on the state’s racing industries. Revenue was expected to yield AUD35m annually.

The part of Sportsbet's case which was against the state of New South Wales was dismissed because the unlawful conduct, according to the judge, was not in the legislation itself, but in the way the racing bodies imposed it. This may be subject to further appeal, if the basis for future fees can not be resolved through negotiation.

Justice Perram has dismissed a similar case by Betfair but said that the case was still open for further argument. Betfair had argued that fees should be charged on gross rather than net turnover which favoured Tabcorp's business model.

A comprehensive report in our Intelligence Report series examining the new possibilities that offshore e-commerce open up for business, and analysing the offshore jurisdictions that have led the way in offering professional e-commerce regimes for international business, with a particular focus on e-gaming, is available in the Lowtax Library at and a description of the report can be seen at
TAGS: court | tax | business | gambling tax | commerce | law | Australia | fees | internet | e-commerce | gambling | legislation

To see today's news, click here.


Tax-News Reviews

Cyprus Review

A review and forecast of Cyprus's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Cyprus Review »

Malta Review

A review and forecast of Malta's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Malta Review »

Jersey Review

A review and forecast of Jersey's international business, legal and investment climate.

Visit Jersey Review »

Budget Review

A review of the latest budget news and government financial statements from around the world.

Visit Budget Review »

Stay Updated

Please enter your email address to join the mailing list. View previous newsletters.

By subscribing to our newsletter service, you agree to our Terms and Conditions and Privacy Policy.

To manage your mailing list preferences, please click here »