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Online Casino Firm Says Restrictions Oppose Constitution

Online casino firm Betfair doesn’t seem to agree with the restrictions that the Western Australian law forces on its operations. The company has pleaded to the country’s High Court in an attempt to change the way the law treats its gambling business. During the first day of arguments which took place last week, the company showed the judge how to gamble Aus$10 using its online platform. Not your everyday case, you’d have to agree. The basic claim Betfair is making is that the current law that forbids gamblers from betting on horse races through the company’s site contradicts the Constitution of the country.

According to section 92 of the Constitution, trade between states should be “absolutely free”. However, by forbidding gamblers from using Betfair’s online platform they cannot exercise the liberty that section 92 grants them. This is a very interesting case that might have implications on the way the online casino industry deals with the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in the United States. Tasmania, which granted the online casino company with a license, is supporting its claim.

“This is getting interesting …I might get addicted,” remarked Justice Michael Kirby, who admitted to knowing little about how betting odds worked. All through the first day, online casino company Betfair was explaining how to place bets using the internet and how the actual odds are being calculated. Discussions regarding the essence of the claim haven’t been conducted as of yet, buy they should take place very soon. If indeed an online casino company will manage to show that restrictions on its business contradict the ideas of liberty, it will be an historical moment that will surely make it easier of the industry to make the same case in other places

OCA News Editor

Jenny McKinnley is OCA’s financial correspondent. After spending years on the trading floor in both NY and London, she offers insight from the inside out on world financial news and events.