Monday February 3 ,2014 : TATTS AND TABCORP SUE VICTORIA GOVERNMENT OVER POKIE MACHINE CHANGES
Gambling firms seek A$1.2 billion from provincial government.
A major civil case is currently being argued in the Victorian Supreme Court as Australian gambling giants Tabcorp and Tatts pursue a claim of over A$1.2 billion against the Victorian government for changes to poker machine licenses.
The West Australian newspaper reports that the companies say they are entitled to hundreds of millions of dollars from the government after their licenses to run the state's poker machines expired in August 2012.
New licenses to own and operate the machines were instead issued to individual venues.
Tabcorp barrister Alan Archibald QC told the Victorian Supreme Court on Monday that the 1994 Gaming and Betting Act gave Tabcorp and Tatts the right to a pay-out if their licences were not renewed.
The company was owed $687 million, plus more than $100 million in interest payments, he told the court.
Tatts is seeking $490 million in a similar claim, however the government's position is that it does not have to make any payment as the 1994 act is no longer enforceable, having been replaced by new legalization.
Legal representatives for the government additionally argue that the gaming machine entitlements issued to venues in 2012 are materially different from the licences formerly held by Tatts and Tabcorp.