The Tote operates all of the state’s betting on horse and greyhound races around Australia and the Government will now seek Parliamentary approval to amend the Gaming Control Act of 1993 to bring the regulation of the service under the Tasmanian Gaming Commission.
Aird revealed that the Tote was a ‘non-core asset’ and its sale would give the Tasmanian community a better return on its investment than retaining the business. Although he declined to put a price on the business, Aird stated that he hoped any sale would be completed by the end of June.
“The divestment will help in improving Tote’s competitive position compared to the other privatised Tabs in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia,” said Aird.
“Maintaining a wagering business in public ownership is not a core function of Government. The proceeds of the sale, which we hope will be finalised by the end of June 2009, will be reinvested into other state assets.
“The sale of Tote is consistent with most other Australian states and territories, which have also sold their wagering businesses with only Western Australia and the Australian Capital Territory still with Government-owned totalisators.”
The Government has appointed Sydney’s Deloitte Corporate Finance Party Limited as its financial advisors with Clayton Utz serving as its legal advisor. It advised any interested bidders to contact David Willington at Deloitte while stating that the totalisator’s capital commitments, including six million dollars for lights at Tasman Park in Launceston, would not be affected by the sale.
“All accrued entitlements for staff at the sale date will be preserved,” said Aird.
“I can guarantee that the Tasmanian Racing Industry will not be worse off by these arrangements.”