TATTS WINS MAJOR CASE AGAINST AUSSIE PROVINCE
26th June, 2014 at 12:03:31
But it's back to the drawing board for Tabcorp as it loses its case.
The Victorian provincial government in Australia has been ordered by the Victorian Supreme Court to pay more than A$450 million in compensation to the Tatts gambling group, plus interest over changes to gaming licences introduced six years ago, reports the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
Tatts originally sought A$490 million.
However a similar challenge launched by rival Tabcorp and claiming A$686 million met with failure and is to be reviewed by the company, which has 14 days to lodge an appeal.
The cases stem from reforms introduced by the government, which stripped Tabcorp and Tatts of their eighteen-year poker machine duopoly in the territory.
The reforms were implemented in 2012 (see previous reports), broadening the market and prompting the two gambling companies to launch litigation to secure compensation for lost revenues.
Tabcorp argued it had a right to compensation as a law introduced by the government guaranteed it a payment when its 18-year licence expired, whilst Tatts asked for compensation after the expiration of its gaming operator's licence under an agreement made in 1995.
Victorian government Treasurer Michael O'Brien said the Courts' decision represented a mixed outcome that will lead to significant costs for Victorian taxpayers.
"While we're pleased that his honour Justice Hargrave found in favour of the state with respect to the claim brought by Tabcorp, we're disappointed that the Tatts Group claim has succeeded," O'Brien said.
"Should the Tatts Group decision stand, it will result in a significant cost to the Victorian community. The quantum of judgement and likely interest is expected to exceed A$540 million."
The 2008 decisions that lead to Thursday's judgement were made by the former Labor government to change the structure of the gaming industry in Victoria," he said.
He said the Government would consider whether it would appeal against the court's decision.
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