15th of June 2011 Author: Glo Wood
Legal advice resolves big dispute
A big relief arrived this week for betting exchanges, as the dispute between the British Horserace Betting Levy Board, the British Horseracing Association and major betting exchange Betfair was resolved thanks to expert legal advice on whether customers of UK betting exchanges are capable of being leviable bookmakers. The answer to the question was no, as the BHLB decided that it would not seek to impose any levy on the customers of betting exchanges.
In a comment on this new development, Betfair's top legal man, Martin Cruddace stated: 'Today draws a line under the issue of whether betting exchanges and their customers should be treated differently to other betting operators and punters for the purposes of the Levy - with the unequivocal answer being 'no'.'
'Quite rightly, the independent views of the best legal brains in the country have been accepted over the misguided interpretation of a few individuals.
'This has cost racing over GBP2 million, money that should have gone to prize money.
'We have lost count of the number of times this issue has been thrown out by a succession of government and quasi-government bodies.
'This did not prevent the BHA Chairman from agitating for this consultation and being a major driving force behind it. He has put everything on red and it has come up black.
'We hope that the responsible elements of horseracing will accept today's conclusion and we look forward to continuing a mutually beneficial relationship with them,' he concluded.
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