Friday August 24,2012 : TABCORP HITS STATE OF VICTORIA WITH A MASSIVE CLAIM
Gambling group wants A$686.8 million from provincial government
The Australian gambling giant Tabcorp called in A$686.8 million it alleges is due from the Victorian provincial government in terms of a 1994 agreement Friday, filing court papers with the Supreme Court of Victoria.
The gambling group claims the state has an obligation to it that dates back to 1994 when Tabcorp came into existence when it privatised the Victorian TAB and listed Tabcorp on the Australian Securities Exchange.
The Gaming and Betting Act 1994 provided for a payment by the State of Victoria to Tabcorp on the grant of new licences, irrespective of whether Tabcorp was itself the new licensee.
A statement from Tabcorp said the group's initial public offering was underpinned by this statutory entitlement, the terms of which were clearly set out in the prospectus.
"The obligation to make the payment was subsequently recognised by the State of Victoria, including in its annual Budget Papers, over a 14 year period from 1994 until 2008," the statement continues.
"In 2008, the former Victorian Government formed the view that Tabcorp would not be entitled to the payment. The legalization provides that the payment must be made no later than 23 August 2012.
"The Tabcorp Board considers that the company is entitled to a payment, and that the Board has a duty to Tabcorp’s many individual shareholders to pursue that entitlement."
The statement goes on to detail the claim, which can be accessed at:
The Victorian government's initial reaction has not been encouraging: Premier Ted Baillieu said Friday that Tabcorp’s action amounted to suing the people of Victoria and that his government intended to strongly defend the state’s position in the interest of all Victorians.