TATTS WINS OUT

Written on the 27 June 2014

TATTS WINS OUT

TATTS Group (ASX:TTS) has hit the jackpot this week with two major wins in as many days.

After the Supreme Court of Victoria ordered the Victorian Government to pay Tatts $450 million in compensation yesterday, the Brisbane-based gaming and wagering company today announced it has secured a 61-year extension to its Queensland sports wagering license.

The Supreme Court yesterday found in favour of Tatts that it had paid additional fees to the Victorian Government for its pokies business on the basis that it would receive compensation if the license wasn’t renewed in 2012.

Tatts says the $450 million payout, which includes interest of almost $90 million, will be subject to tax.

A similar claim by Tabcorp for $700 million was dismissed, after it was considered to be a government entity.

The Queensland Government today capped off Tatts’ bumper week by awarding the company exclusive rights to the Queensland sports wagering license until June 30, 1998, which is in line with its existing race wagering license.

Tatts says the deal with the state government and Racing Queensland securing the exclusive rights will see the company implement a new Queensland sport and racing wagering framework.

Managing director and CEO Robbie Cooke (pictured) welcomes the partnership, saying it will be mutually beneficial for all parties.

“We believe the new model builds a true partnership approach between Racing Queensland, the Government and Tatts to drive a prosperous future for racing in Queensland through a sustainable model that recognises the needs of all participants,” Cooke says.

Aiming to level the playing field, the agreement prevents out-of-state betting operators to utilise tax regimes and target local consumers, taking revenue from the state.

“Our wagering franchise is now well positioned to fight back against the predatory operators who have for too long exploited the fiscal imbalance that has existed in the Australian wagering landscape.”

The tax rate on pari-mutuel betting will reduce from 20 per cent to 14 per cent of commissions, while the fixed-price betting rate will decrease from 20 per cent to 10 per cent of gross revenue.

Racing Queensland chairman Kevin Dixon says the agreement will provide much needed investment in the industry to drive growth.

“It’s a new beginning which sees all parties involved committed to a strong, successful future,” Dixon says.

“The Queensland Government has given much needed practical support through this process, unlocking the ability of Racing Queensland and Tatts to work together and build a viable and robust industry.”

The deal is expected to lead to a $4.5 billion investment in the state’s racing industry and support 30,000 jobs.

Tatts will pay $150 million for the rights through four equal instalments until July 2023.

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