Tabcorp To Challenge AU$71m Tax Bill

Tabcorp, the Australian gambling operator has vowed to challenge a AU$71.0 million tax bill relating to fees paid in 2016 by the legacy company of the Tatts Group.

Tabcorp said the case is for the tracking of gaming machines in New South Wales in relation to the tax on fees paid by Tatts Group, which it acquired in December 2017.

The company reported a contingent liability in its financial statement released in June this year in relation to the issue of AU$62m (£34.5m/€37.9m/US$45.9m) after tax.

The amended evaluation, however, amounted to $71.0 million, which includes $9.0 million in penalty interest levied by the Australian Taxation Office. As part of Tabcorp’s first half results for its 2021 financial year, this will be announced as a major item.

Tabcorp said it would appeal the amended amount, claiming that the deductions are permissible on the basis of probability. The operator added that after taking external professional advice, it took this decision.

The announcement comes after Tabcorp was forced to pay more than $30,000 in fines and expenses last month after it was ruled in New South Wales NSW to have violated advertisement laws.

An investigation by Liquor & Gaming NSW found that on his Instagram account via Instagram Stories, a former Tabcorp betting account holder received a gambling advert that provided bonus bets from Tabcorp, which was in violation of state law.

In a proposal involving private equity firms and fronted by betting pioneer Matthew Tripp, Tabcorp also dismissed claims in the Australian media in November that it could be subject to a takeover offer.

A number of private equity companies were said to have approached Matthew Tripp in order to initiate a takeover bid, one of which reportedly introduced a $9.0 billion fee to buy the entire Tabcorp company, and another proposing a $3.0 billion bid for the TAB betting division of Tabcorp.