Judicial Review rules in favour of Betfair
Today the High Court issued its judgment in the case of William Hill Organization Limited against The Horserace Betting Levy Board.
The Court has ruled in favour of the position of Betfair as supported by the Levy Board, confirming the outcome of the extensive Consultation the Board undertook in 2010-2011. That Consultation clearly determined that customers of betting exchanges are not liable to pay the Horserace betting Levy (‘the Levy’). The Court has today rejected the claim of William Hill who instigated the judicial review last September.
Betfair has been a primary interested party in the case and supported the Levy Board’s position.
Martin Cruddace, Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer at Betfair, said:
"We welcome the High Court ruling which has vindicated the position of Betfair. It is now neither sustainable nor rational to argue that Betfair customers should be liable to pay the Levy any more than should customers of any other betting operator.
"It is ironic that William Hill’s online business pays not a penny in Levy itself, despite making tens of millions of pounds in profits annually from British Racing. Yet still, it chose to argue that an undefined class of exchange customers should be required to pay Levy.
"The savings made by William Hill through Levy avoidance may help fund poorly advised legal challenges such as this one, but I would suggest that their resources would be better spent working with British Racing to reach a commercial agreement in a similar vein to the one Betfair recently signed with the sport."
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Notes to Editors:
The case number is CO/8525/2011.
In June 2011, after an 11-month consultation, the Levy Board concluded that customers of betting exchanges should not pay Levy as they cannot be deemed to be bookmakers under the terms of the Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Act 1963. This decision was based on submissions from numerous parties, including Betfair, as well as the expert independent evidence of eminent QCs, Lord Pannick QC and Michael Fordham QC. All submissions can be found on the Levy Board’s website: http://www.hblb.org.uk/news.php?allpr=yes
William Hill chose to challenge the Levy Board’s decision in the Courts via a judicial review which was instigated last September. In launching the judicial review William Hill was asking a Judge to say the Levy Board’s decision was wrong in law. The Judge has disagreed with William Hill.
About Betfair: (www.betfair.com)
Betfair is one of the world’s largest international online sports betting providers and pioneered the betting exchange in 2000.
Driven by cutting-edge technology, Betfair enables customers to bet at odds sought by themselves or offered by other customers. The company now processes over seven million transactions a day from its four million registered customers around the world. In addition to sports betting, Betfair offers a portfolio of innovative products including casino, exchange games and poker.
Betfair has twice been named the UK’s ‘Company of the Year’ by the Confederation of British Industry and has won two prestigious Queen’s Awards for Enterprise, being recognised for Innovation in 2003 and most recently for International Trade in 2008. Betfair currently employs over 2,000 people worldwide. The company holds betting licences in Gibraltar, the US, Tasmania, Italy, Denmark and Malta.
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