Tabcorp reaches AU$150m settlement and welcomes Queensland reforms

Tabcorp has concluded legal proceedings and commended the Government of Queensland for “delivering fair and much needed” tax reform.

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The operator has reached a conditional settlement with Racing Queensland, ending a three-year-long legal dispute over the calculation of fees payable by Tabcorp after a point of consumption tax (POCT) was introduced back in 2018.

Tabcorp has agreed to pay Racing Queensland and the state’s government a combined total of AU$150m (US$108m), contingent upon the commencement of reforms set forth by the Queensland Government earlier today.

The Australian state, headed by Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, has announced sweeping reforms that will significantly broaden POCT, otherwise known as betting tax, and increase funding for horseracing.

According to the state’s Government, these reforms will deliver “a boost to Queensland’s racing industry […] through a new sustainable funding model.”

Changes include a 5% racing levy that will be added to the state’s betting tax, as well as the inclusion of free and bonus bets. Moreover, the proportion of betting tax revenue that goes directly to the racing industry will be increased from 35% to 80%.

“These changes offer the industry, and the 6,500 jobs it directly employs, greater certainty,” said Queensland’s Minister for Racing, Grace Grace.

“Providing longer term funding certainty means opportunities for increased prize money, enhanced infrastructure and better training facilities – and the more the industry grows, the more revenue it will receive.”

Since 2014, Racing Queensland has been reliant on an agreement with Tabcorp that will now be “unwound” as part of the new funding model.

“While Tabcorp will still offer on-course betting services and retain retail exclusivity,” said Grace, “its on-course ‘sponsorship and advertising’ exclusivity will end once these changes take effect.”

The operator welcomed these reforms, adding that it “will be able to negotiate directly with clubs for any on-course advertising arrangements.”

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