Tabcorp Holdings Limited announced that it has resolved a dispute with the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) in relation to the income tax treatment of payments for various licences and authorities. Tabcorp had paid to the Commissioner in full the disputed amount of tax liabilities and interest.
As part of the settlement, the ATO will refund Tabcorp approximately $83 million which represents 0% of the disputed tax liabilities and interest. Each proceeding brought by the taxpayers will be dismissed. Tabcorp, in turn, is required to pay approximately $37 million to The Lottery Corporation Limited (TLC) under the terms of the Separation Deed dated 25 March 2022 between Tabcorp and TLC.
As a result, Tabcorp will recognise a benefit of approximately $45 million after tax in its financial statements for the year ending 30 June 2024. This benefit will be treated as a significant item.
The settlement also included an agreement in relation to how Tabcorp will treat future licence fees payable in respect of renewals of relevant existing licences. Subject to agreed limitations, Tabcorp must treat the fees as being of a capital nature. Tabcorp does not believe this will have any material effect on future results.
ACMA Blocks More Illegal Offshore Gambling Websites
The ACMA has requested that Australian internet service providers (ISPs) block more illegal offshore gambling websites, after investigations found 5 services to be operating in breach of the Interactive Gambling Act 2001. The latest sites blocked include Viperspin, Just Casino, Betandplay, Play Fina and Comic Play Casino.
Since the ACMA made its first blocking request, 835 illegal gambling and affiliate websites have been blocked. 215 illegal services have pulled out of the Australian market since the ACMA started enforcing new illegal offshore gambling rules in 2017.
Website blocking is one of a range of enforcement options to protect Australians against illegal online gambling.
NSW Govt Announces $100M Funding Injection to Reduce Gambling Harm
The New South Wales (NSW) government has announced a $100 million funding injection to reduce gambling harm across the state.
The funding for gambling harm minimisation comes as part of the first Minns Labor Government Budget and is the next step in the government’s long-term commitment to tackle money laundering, implement gaming reform, and reduce the harmful impacts of gambling across communities.
The NSW Government will redirect the $100 million fine imposed on Star Casino by the NSW Independent Casino Commission (NICC) over 5 years to fund harm minimisation initiatives.
This huge funding injection will allow for the enhancement of services and initiatives to reduce harm in the community from gambling including:
- $10 million additional investment in 2023-24 for the Responsible Gambling Fund, through the Office of Responsible Gambling, for the provision of GambleAware counselling and support services, awareness and education campaigns and initiatives like Reclaim the Game, and to support world-leading gambling research.
- $6.4 million to enhance self-exclusion and introduce third-party exclusions in pubs and clubs.
- $3.4 million for the independent expert panel, established in July this year, to run and evaluate a 12-month cashless gaming trial in pubs and clubs, with expressions of interests recently called for venues to take part.
- $21.7 million each year, for 3 years from financial year 24-25, to fund other gambling harm minimisation initiatives and reforms, including those recommended by the Independent Panel.
“This government has a clear focus and is committed to evidence-based reform. We know that when gambling becomes a problem, it is harmful to the person and the people around them, negatively impacting relationships, work life, finances and physical and mental wellbeing,” David Harris, Minister for Gaming and Racing, said.
Since being elected in March, the Minns Labor Government has banned political donations from clubs involved in gaming, established an independent panel to oversee a comprehensive trial of cashless gaming and recommend a roadmap for gaming reform in NSW. It has also reduced the cash input limit from $5000 to $500 for all new poker machines since July 1, slashed the number of gaming machine entitlements allowed in NSW by more than 3000 and banned all external gambling-related signage since September 1.
VGCCC Charges Tabcorp and Eight Venues for Allegedly Allowing a Minor to Gamble
The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) has charged Tabcorp along with eight venues for allegedly allowing a minor to gamble in breach of the Gambling Regulation Act 2003. Tabcorp faces a total of 54 charges, including 27 counts of allowing a minor to gamble and failing to reasonably supervise its electronic betting terminals.
The venue operators and a TAB agency face allegations they allowed a minor to gamble on 27 occasions between 8 September and 1 November 2022.
The venue operators have been charged with allowing a minor to gamble, allowing a minor within a gaming machine area and failure to ensure gambling vending machines were reasonably supervised at all times. The TAB agency has been charged with allowing a minor to gamble and failing to ensure reasonable supervision of its electronic betting terminals.
The venues are the Olympic Hotel, the Brunswick Club, the Edwardes Lake Hotel, the Parkview Hotel, the Albion Charles Hotel, the Doncaster Hotel, the Rose Shamrock & Thistle Hotel and the Northcote TAB Agency.
If found guilty, the operators face a maximum collective fine of more than one million dollars, while Tabcorp could face a maximum fine of $698,997.60.
VGCCC CEO Annette Kimmitt AM said: “One of the most serious harms is allowing minors to gamble. All gambling venues must ensure they do not accept a bet from a minor and must ask for identification from anyone they suspect could be underage.”
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