Tabcorp sues Australia's Victoria state for $686 mn news
25 August 2012

The government of the Australian state of Victoria has been hit with $1.2 billion in legal claims from gambling companies Tabcorp and Tatts Group, which lost their duopoly over the state's poker machines recently.

Filing a writ yesterday Tabcorp claimed $686.83 million after its poker machine licence expired this month. Earlier, Tatts lodged a similar claim for at least $490 million.
Premier Ted Bailieu who vowed to defend the legal action vigorously said it would be  taxpayers who paid the price if the suits succeeded.

He added, between them the companies were claiming about a sum of up to or even more than $1.2 billion, that would otherwise go to schools, to hospitals, to police, to pre-schools and kindergartens and to community services in general.

Tatts and Tabcorp held a duopoly for operating 27,500 poker machines outside Melbourne's Crown casino until the licences expired on 15 August with the rights to operate the poker machines going to to the pubs and clubs.

Tabcorp is seeking a $686.83 million payment from the state, claiming that when the government privatised the Victorian TAB and listed Tabcorp on the Australian Securities Exchange in 1994, it enacted a law under which Tabcorp was guaranteed a payment when its 18-year licence expired.

According to the company, the government's statutory requirement increased the attractiveness of Tabcorp as an investment at the time it was floated.

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Tabcorp sues Australia's Victoria state for $686 mn