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Victoria Extends Tatts License to Expire with Tabcorp’s

20th October 2009 7:45 am GMT

Australia's Tatts Group Limited has been granted a four month extension to its gaming operator's licence in Victoria, aligning it with rival Tabcorp to ensure a smoother transition when the gaming duopoly expires in 2012 and a new industry structure is implemented.

Confirming the contract extension, Victoria Gaming Minister Tony Robinson said Tatts' licence would now expire on August 15th 2012, bringing it in line with fellow duopoly gaming operator Tabcorp.

"The Brumby Labour Government has set a new direction for Victoria's gaming industry, removing the gaming machine operators and allowing pubs and clubs to own and operate electronic gaming machines and receive a greater share of gaming revenue," said Robinson.

Mr Robinson said that two different end dates for the gaming operator licences would result in both a gaming operator and venue operator model operating simultaneously, leading to unnecessary regulatory complexity and costs for Government and the industry.

"A single end date for the gaming operator duopoly is the most efficient approach for both the Government and the gaming industry, facilitating the transition to the new industry structure," he said.

Extending Tatts' licence for an additional four months would also make the gaming machine entitlement auction process easier to administer, said Robinson.

"Because the auction system does not differentiate between machines currently operated by Tatts or Tabcorp, the allocation of entitlements would have to be addressed in separate processes, increasing the costs of the auction," he said.

A power to align the end dates of the gaming operator licences was introduced into the Gambling Regulation Act 2003 this year.

Tatts will continue to pay the same premium amount during the extension period, which is seven percent of revenue from gaming machines.

The new Victorian gaming industry structure in 2012 will see a new venue-operator model established whereby venues will bid directly for gaming machines entitlements, having more control of their gaming operations, and receiving a greater share of gaming revenue.

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