Racing industry on tenterhooks in NSW

Racing stake-holders in NSW are on tenterhooks with news the High Court will deliver judgments in the appeals of Betfair and Sportsbet this Friday.

Sportsbet and Betfair have appealed the legislation that would require bookmakers betting on NSW races to make mandatory contributions to Racing NSW based on total turnover rather than profits.

Racing NSW has been collecting contributions based on the proposed model since the legislation came into effect but has been barred from spending it until the appeal has been decided. There’s a $100 million windfall waiting to be dispersed if Racing NSW emerges successful from the High Court challenge.

The wheels of justice are turning slower for appellants in the E.I. class action. On Tuesday, Queensland legal firm Attwood Marshall advised its clients they have received some 15,000 documents from the Commonwealth with a further 10,000 documents on the way.

Equine influenza (EI) brought the industry to its knees way back in 2007 but the Commonwealth has denied liability for losses associated with the outbreak. There are two test cases – a NSW float company and a Queensland stud farm – and the court ruling on the two proceedings may assist with the resolution of hundreds of other claims.