Wednesday, February 24, 2016 : WESTERN AUSTRALIAN GOVERNMENT MINISTER PLACES CONDITIONS ON SALE OF T.A.B.
Money from such a sale must go to the province's racing industry and not to pay down mounting state debts, says Holt.
The proposed sale of the Western Australian government TAB betting agency has prompted WA Gaming Minister Colin Holt to warn that he will not support the sale if the money goes towards paying down the mounting state debt.
In a letter to WA Treasurer Mike Nathan, Holt emphasised that cash from such a sale must be directed towards the state’s racing industry.
“The State Government will not proceed with a sale of the WA TAB unless there are clear benefits for the future of the racing industry in WA," Holt observed.
"My first responsibility is to the racing industry. My focus is ensuring the industry in WA, including country racing, succeeds, is sustainable in the long term and continues to make a strong contribution to the economy.”
The letter puts Holt in potential conflict with Nathan and provincial premier Colin Barnett, who are wrestling with Western Australia's growing debt, now estimated at A$40 billion.
Potential bidders for WA TAB at around A$1 billion include Australian gaming giants Tatts Group and Tabcorp, who currently own the other former government TABs throughout Australia.
Holt said he expected the Western Australian Racing Representative Group to deliver a racing requirements report to ensure the racing industry’s views are present in any discussions relating to the sale of the TAB.