RV welcomes announcement of new Wagering Licensee

Racing Victoria Chief Executive, Rob Hines, has issued the following statement regarding today’s announcement of the new Wagering and Betting Licensee from August 2012.

“Racing Victoria welcomes the Victorian Coalition Government’s decision to award the new Wagering and Betting Licence to Tabcorp Wagering (Vic) Pty Ltd and the Government’s continuing commitment to delivering a ‘no less favourable’ outcome for the Victorian Racing Industry,” Hines said.

“We look forward to holding discussions with Tabcorp over the coming weeks to finalise the terms of the new joint venture arrangements.

“As the negotiations will be subject to a commercial in confidence process, we are unable to make any further comment at this stage.”

The new 12-year licence, which commences in August 2012, allows the licensee to conduct pari-mutuel and fixed odds betting, operate the only off-course retail network in Victoria, establish and operate a Betting Exchange in Victoria to support account based betting and conduct approved simulated racing events.

As part of the licence terms, Tabcorp will make an up-front premium payment to the Coalition Government of $410 million.

“This is an outstanding result and will achieve the quinella of excellent value for money for this asset and a fair deal for the racing industry,” Minister for Gaming Michael O’Brien said.

“As the successful licensee, Tabcorp will be responsible for delivering the entertainment, jobs and social benefits that Victorians expect of the wagering industry.”

Mr O’Brien said Tabcorp was chosen following extensive evaluation of two very strong bids and had clearly demonstrated the required expertise.

Minister for Racing Denis Napthine said today’s announcement would further secure the financial future of Victoria’s racing industry by delivering increased revenue in real terms above current arrangements.

“The Victorian racing industry and Tabcorp will work together for the future of the industry,” Dr Napthine said.

“Tabcorp has made a binding offer to the racing industry that is no less favourable than the current arrangements and the two parties will commence negotiations immediately to finalise the terms of their joint venture arrangements.

“The Coalition Government is committed to continued growth in the Victorian racing industry so that it remains the number one racing state in Australia and has already commenced work with these parties to enable a smooth transition in 2012.”

As part of the bid evaluation, Tabcorp was required to show it has a business approach consistent with Victoria’s responsible gambling principles.

Both Tabcorp and its agents will be required to comply with the Responsible Gambling Code of Conduct which will be monitored and enforced by the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation.

The Gambling Licences Review project is subject to two levels of probity, with both an independent probity auditor and the Independent Review Panel providing oversight to ensure transparency of the licensing process. The Panel’s report found no impediment to the Minister making the decision.

For information on the Gambling Licences Review process, go to http://www.gamblinglicences.vic.gov.au/.

Information on transition to the new gambling arrangements commencing in 2012 is available from the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation http://www.vcgr.vic.gov.au/.

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