Australian Capital Territory sells off betting agency to top Aussie bookmaking group
Australian media are reporting the sale for A$105.5 million of the ACTTAB betting agency to local bookmaking group Tabcorp Holdings by the Australian Capital Territory provincial government.
Tabcorp CEO David Attenborough described the Canberra-based purchase as a unique opportunity.
"We look forward to leveraging our capabilities to strengthen the product offering available to ACTTAB customers and to deliver the best outcome for the racing industry and other stakeholders including our venue and community partners," he said.
Tabcorp gains a major advantage as part of the sales deal – a 50 year exclusive totalisator licence, a sports bookmaking licence for 15 years with further rolling extensions to a total term of 50 years, and ongoing approvals to offer Keno and Trackside products.
ACT Treasurer Andrew Barr said the sale price had exceeded expectations.
"This allows the ACT Government in the short term to invest those funds to produce a boost to our budget," he said. "But in the longer term, it will allow us to put the proceeds through the Commonwealth's Asset Recycling Scheme and ultimately invest that in new assets and infrastructure for the territory."
Local press reports indicate that ACTTAB turns over more than A$100 million annually, but in the 2012-2013 financial year it delivered only $1 million profit for the provincial government.
More than 100 full-time staff work in both the ACTTAB head office and 53 retail outlets around the territory, and as part of the agreement Tabcorp has agreed to offer employment to all existing staff. The current chief executive is retiring.
Treasurer Barr said Tabcorp outlined plans to give A$3 million to the racing industry, A$4 million in sponsorship for sport and A$50,000 to the ACT problem gambling fund. The company will also pay the government an annual licensing fee of A$1 million per year.
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