Australia: Potential wagering model shake up in Queensland

Racing Queensland has announced that it is seeking Expressions of Interest from national and international wagering operators who are interested in bringing innovation to the “exciting world of wagering” associated with greyhound, harness and thoroughbred racing in Queensland.

The announcement from Racing Queensland has been triggered by the imminent end of the 15 year exclusivity period that currently exists in the race wagering licence held by the Tatts Group Ltd (Tatts) (and protected under the Wagering Act 1998 (Qld)) which permits Tatts to conduct “bricks and mortar” race wagering activities in the State. The exclusivity period is subject to the payment of an annual Product Fee to the industry, which in 2013 totalled $131 million. The exclusivity period ends on 30 June 2014.

While Tatts is in discussions with Racing Queensland to extend the exclusivity period, Racing Queensland is seeking submissions¬† from visionaries who “will foster a more prosperous racing industry and ensures that total wagering returns are no worse than those currently received.” Racing Queensland have noted that both sole and multiple operator proposals will be considered. If a multiple operator model is accepted it will be the first of its kind in an Australian state or territory.

Expressions of Interest are required to be submitted to Racing Queensland by 28 February 2014.

The invitation to provide an Expression of Interest from Racing Queensland is available here.

Tatts’ ASX Announcement is available here.

Co-authored by Judith Miller, Partner, DLA Piper and Jaimie Wolbers, Solicitor, DLA Piper