GAMING GIANTS LOSE BIG IN HIGH COURT

GAMING GIANTS LOSE BIG IN HIGH COURT
AUSTRALIA'S largest pokies operators have suffered massive setbacks totalling more than $1.2 billion in the High Court of Australia.

In separate judgments for related matters, Melbourne's Tabcorp Holdings' (ASX: TAH) appeal for $686.83 million in compensation from the State of Victoria has been dismissed, and Brisbane's Tatts Group (ASX: TTS) has been forced to hand back $540 million in lost pokies compensation.

Previously in June 2014, Tatts scored the $540 million windfall from the Victorian Government, which included interest of almost $90 million.

Tatts, previously headquartered in Victoria, will feel the brunt of $540 million plus additional interest and the state's costs of appeal and proceedings in its full-year results.

The company claims the verdict will not affect its ability to continue its stated dividend policy of a high annual payout, and says its net debt to EBITDA ratio 'is still comfortably serviceable' considering cashflow, profitability and outlook.

The Tabcorp judgment had already affected earnings in previous financial years and the company says it will not be further impacted.

The High Court found the companies weren't entitled to payment by the Victorian Government because a new gaming operator license was never issued.

This stems back to 1994, when the companies were handed an 18-year license to operate Victoria's pokie machines outside of Crown Resorts' (ASX: CWN) Melbourne Casino.

By 2008, the companies held a duopoly in Victoria and the Labor Brumby government decided to hand over the management of pokies in Victorian pubs and clubs to venue operators instead.

The new regime began in 2012 and both companies took the matter to court in 2014.

Tatts shares were put in a trading halt after the decisions were handed down.

Pictured: Tatts Group CEO Robbie Cooke

Help us deliver quality journalism to you.
As a free and independent news site providing daily updates
during a period of unprecedented challenges for businesses everywhere
we call on your support

A game changer? Aspiring to the new standard on workplace mental health
Partner Content
Work health and safety regulators have been more active in the area of mental health ri...
Aon
Advertisement

Related Stories

Cyborg Dynamics Engineering secures $3.3m deal for Australia-first unmanned ground vehicle

Cyborg Dynamics Engineering secures $3.3m deal for Australia-first unmanned ground vehicle

Brisbane-based robotics and AI company Cyborg Dynamics Engineering ...

How the technology “no one in Australia wanted” launched with Samsung

How the technology “no one in Australia wanted” launched with Samsung

While Australian researchers worked to develop solutions in a world...

Victoria reopening to fully vaccinated NSW travellers from next Wednesday

Victoria reopening to fully vaccinated NSW travellers from next Wednesday

Changes to state border arrangements are coming in thick and fast t...

NSW eases border restrictions with ACT and Queensland

NSW eases border restrictions with ACT and Queensland

As the Australian Capital Territory leaves lockdown today and Queen...