Betfair today issued proceedings in the High Court of Australia seeking declarations that the WA Government's anti-betting exchange laws, part of which take effect today, are in breach of the Commonwealth Constitution.

"Betfair has been left with no choice but to challenge the WA Government's attempts to restrict free trade between the States," said Andrew Twaits, Betfair's Director of Corporate and Business Affairs.

"The legislation effectively prevents WA residents placing bets with Betfair, and prevents betting exchanges operating in WA," Mr Twaits said.

Betfair has been lawfully operating in competition with other wagering operators in other jurisdictions (including in other States of Australia). Betfair has also consistently offered:
i) to share information with WA regulators to improve their efforts to manage the integrity of sporting and racing codes; and
ii) to enter into voluntary funding agreements with local sporting bodies. This goes beyond the conduct of other Australia wagering operators, whose operations will remain lawful in WA.

"Betfair is particularly disappointed that former Racing Minister McGowan introduced this legislation without being willing to meet with Betfair to test his arguments for doing so. Betfair considers this legislation is bad for WA racing and sports, and for WA residents" Mr Twaits said.

Betfair Media Release Published 29/01/07