William Hill had instigated the action in hopes of making customers of Betfair and other betting exchange operators subject to payment of the Horserace Betting Levy, which ran counter to an earlier consultation undertaken by the Horserace Betting Levy Board. “We welcome the High Court ruling, which has vindicated the position of Betfair,” said Martin Cruddace, Chief Legal and Regulatory Officer for 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 its 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,” concluded Cruddace.