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Home Gambling Industry Tabcorp begins proceedings against Entain, NSW hotels

Tabcorp begins proceedings against Entain, NSW hotels

3 min. read

Lady justice holding the scales.

Tabcorp is going after Entain and the Australian Hotels Association NSW, The Sydney Morning Herald confirmed, citing information that the Australian betting company filed a complaint with the Supreme Court of New South Wales on Monday. The proceedings target what Tabcorp alleges is insufficient information provided by the two entities that it is targeting over their advertising deals in the state, signed a month ago.

At the time of signing the deals, AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said that the reason behind the partnership was "very simple." He said that many NSW hotels had to operate their PubTABs for Tabcorp at a significant loss, citing Sky Channel and EBT fees. While this is now changing, Entain and AHA NSW have already negotiated a mutually beneficial deal, which is not to Tabcorp’s taste.

Because of the lack of information that the operator alleges, Tabcorp claims there is a real risk of "contravening the Unlawful Gambling Act of 1998." Tabcorp has definitely not been shy of taking its cases to court and has exerted its own influence over individual state governments to push for what it described as a more level playfield when it comes to the way taxation works for foreign and domestic operators.

Tabcorp has taken issue with the fact that the state’s pubs and clubs are exclusively operating with Tabcorp’s retail wagering which will last through 2033. However, a new deal negotiated between the Australian Hotels Association NSW and Entain now allows the state’s pubs to also advertise third-party brands, such as Ladbrokes and Neds. Presently, the proceedings do not seem to have advanced to a point where Tabcorp can commence what the media describes as "substantive proceedings."

But should it do so, it would be able to theoretically push for an injunction and even seek damages. Still, not everyone is happy with Tabcorp as an entity in Australia. The Sydney Morning Herald cited a source familiar with Racing NSW who commented on the signage of the deal between Entain and NSW hotels and noted that Tabcorp was "finally getting what they deserved," and used a strong language to describe their "monopolistic behavior."

Tabcorp is not all bad, though, as the company has done some notable good. Tabcorp has agreed to waive as much as $50m in revenue that was collected from fees that clubs and pubs paid in Sky Racing fees. The final fees will be removed in 2024, but some states, such as Queensland, Tasmania and the Australian Capital Territory will have their pubs and clubs’ fees waived earlier because local governments agreed to changes in taxation.

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23 Nov 2022
3 min. read
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