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Tabcorp to appeal Au$71.0m NSW tax bill

| By Robert Fletcher
Australian gambling operator Tabcorp has pledged to appeal an AU$71.0m tax bill, related to fees incurred by the legacy Tatts Group business in 2016.
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Tabcorp said the case is in relation to tax on fees incurred by Tatts Group – which it acquired in December 2017 – for the monitoring of gaming machines in New South Wales.

In its financial statement posted in June this year, Tabcorp disclosed a contingent liability in relation to the matter of AU$62m (£34.5m/€37.9m/US$45.9m) after tax.

However, the amended assessment amounted to $71.0m, which includes $9.0m in penalty interest imposed by the Australian Taxation Office. This will be reported as a significant item as part of Tabcorp’s first half results for its 2021 financial year.

Tabcorp said it would appeal the amended amount, saying on the balance of probability that the deductions are allowable. The operator added that it made this decision after taking external professional advice.

The announcement comes after Tabcorp was last month ordered to pay more than $30,000 in fines and costs after it was ruled to have breached advertising rules in New South Wales NSW.

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

November also saw Tabcorp reject reports in the Australian media that it could be subject to a takeover bid, in a proposal involving private equity firms and fronted by betting pioneer Matthew Tripp.

A number of private equity firms were said to have approached Matthew Tripp with the aim of launching a takeover bid, one of which supposedly tabled a fee of $9.0bn to acquire the entire Tabcorp business, an another considering a $3.0bn bid for Tabcorp’s TAB betting division.

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