14 December 2012

Full Court of the Federal Court allows appeal by Tabcorp and the State of Victoria on betting shop exclusivity

The Full Court of the Federal Court recently allowed an appeal lodged by Tabcorp and the State of Victoria against a Federal Court judgment in August 2011. The case, initially brought by Sportsbet Pty Ltd (owned by Irish betting company Paddy Power), concerned an attempt by Sportsbet to operate self-service Internet betting kiosks in Victoria, challenging Tabcorp's exclusive right to operate retail betting outlets in the State.In overturning the trial judge, the Full Court found that the grant of an exclusive retail right to Tabcorp did not impose a discriminatory burden of a protectionist kind. The immediate effect of the Judgment is that Sportsbet is prohibited from installing and operating its betting kiosks in Victorian licensed premises and other retail spaces, thus protecting Tabcorp's retail exclusivity.RBB Economics was retained by Herbert Smith Freehills, solicitors for Tabcorp, and Derek Ridyard gave evidence during the 2011 Federal Court proceedings. Derek's evidence on the economic efficiency benefits of an exclusive retail right is cited in the Full Court's Judgment.

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