Venues Assume Ownership of Pokies in Victoria

Local headlines have been rife with stories of Tatts Group and TabCorp launching a $1.2 billion lawsuit against the Victoria government. The reason for this is the government’s termination of their pokies duopoly – but why has it come to that?

What most news outlets fail to mention is that the Victorian government refused to renew the licenses for the two gaming operators without offering compensation. Instead, the government is handing the ownership over to the local venues which host the machines directly. It cuts Tatts and TabCorp out of the equation, which has certainly made them very upset.

The positive of the situation is that local pubs will be able to benefit directly from hosting poker machines. The government, pubs and gaming operators will no longer split the profits three ways, with more money going to the government to be used to fund public programs.

However, the plan could backfire if Tatts and TabCorp follow through with their lawsuit. Suing the government for over a billion dollars will certainly damage coffers for years to come, taking valuable funds away from the education and healthcare systems.