The Western Australian Government has passed the TAB (Disposal) Bill 2019, allowing the sale of the state-owned TAB through competitive tender before the end of next year.
Though still subject to Royal Assent, the bill allows for 35 percent of sale proceeds to go directly to the Racing Infrastructure Fund in Western Australia, with the remaining 65 percent funding a new women’s and maternity hospital.
“The passing of the bill means there is now the appropriate legislative framework to negotiate the sale of the TAB and support the Western Australian racing industry, ending years of uncertainty,” said Racing Western Australia.
“Since 2003, RWA has operated the TAB with the goal of maximising returns to the racing industry, the transaction phase aims to continue this commitment by selecting a suitably qualified and capable wagering operator through an open market process.”
The bill sets out framework for establishing a new licensing regime to replace the TAB system, amending the current Betting Control Act 1954 to allow a singular licensee to operate totalisator and fixed-odds betting on simulated and live races.
The new licence will run for a maximum of 40 years, with the operator holding the licence required to adhere to RWA guidelines on provision of profit to Western Australian racing concerns.
The Gaming and Wagering Commission will regulate the incoming license holder, while the RWA – formerly known as Racing and Wagering Western Australia – will surrender all wagering operations previously permitted by the Racing and Wagering Western Australia Act 2003.
The RWA will now administer the collection of wagering data from operators in the wake of the racing bets levy being abolished, with the GWC focusing solely on regulatory standards.
The commission will be granted the power to award fines, call for government action, and approve employees working for the new licence holder.