Victoria Supreme Court Hears TAB’s and Tatts’ Petition

Australian GamblingVictoria Supreme Court Hears TAB’s and Tatts’ Petition for Refund Claim vs. State Government

A continuance of the legal suits filed by Tatts and Tabcorp against the Victorian Government took place last Monday, as the state’s Supreme Court heard the arguments supporting the petitions of the two betting giants. Both Tabcorp and Tatts are requesting the highest court to issue an order directing the Victoria Government to pay AU$687 million and AU$490 million respectively to the two betting companies. The amount will aggregate to more than AU$1.2 billion as both firms are also claiming interest payments related to the refunds.

The legal claims were filed in 2012, after the expiration of the companies’ wagering and gaming licenses, and based on a provision stated in the 1994 Gaming and Betting Act. The provision cited gave the two wagering companies the right to claim refunds, in the event that their respective licenses will be transferred to another license holder.

The Victoria Government is standing firm on its ground that the provision is no longer enforceable because the law cited by the two betting giants had already been repealed in 2003. This was amended by the Gambling Regulation Act (Licensing) or the “Wagering Amendment Act” in 2008 and by the Gambling Regulation Amendment Act (Licensing) of 2009 or the “Gaming Amendment Act”.

The latter allowed the creation of “Gaming Machine Entitlements” (GMEs), which permitted gaming machine operators to whom a GME has been granted, the authority to acquire and operate pokies machines in an approved venue. Since the wagering and gaming permits of Tabcorp and Tatts were not extended, the two companies are pursuing the refund payouts on the strength of the now repealed Gaming and Betting Act of 1994.