Canberra's racing industry "is seeking urgent discussions with the ACT government to address fears that the proposed sale" of betting agency ACTTAB will put the industry's financial future on "shaky ground," according to David Polkinghorne of the CANBERRA TIMES. The government agreed to sell ACTTAB to Tabcorp for A$105.5M ($98M), subject to the Australian Competition & Consumer Commission's approval, plus an annual licence fee of A$1M "for a 50-year lease with minimal tax."
The government asked the ACT's racing industry -- comprised of thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing -- "to prepare a proposal of what they wanted from any sale of the territory's gambling body last October." It is understood that "they wanted to remove any reliance on the government's budget during the sale by agreeing to a smaller-sale price, but with a larger annual component paid directly to the industry." The government said that "they had notified the industry," but as of Wednesday night it still did not have any details of the sale. The government said that "there were no plans to scrap the industry's funding and part of the deal had seen an increase in the sponsorship for the racing industry" (CANBERRA TIMES, 7/31