The Tasmanian State Government plans to sell TOTE Tasmania, which administers the commercial aspects of racing and breeding across the state.

Tasmanian Treasurer Michael Aird announced last week that the Government will seek Parliamentary approval to amend the Gaming Control Act 1993 so as to bring TOTE regulation under the Tasmanian Gaming Commission.

The sale will be conducted through a competitive bid process, with an independent probity advisor to oversee the sale to ensure an open and fair process.

Aird said the planned divestment would help improve TOTE’s competitive position compared to other privatised TABs around the country, including NSW, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia.

“Maintaining a wagering business in public ownership is not a core function of Government,” Aird said. 

“The proceeds of the sale, which we hope will be finalised by the end of June 2009, will be reinvested into other state assets.”

The announcement has prompted speculation that players like Tabcorp, Betfair and the Federal Group could be interested in the purchase.

The Tasmanian Government will work to ensure, where possible, that TOTE Tasmania staff retained their jobs and existing conditions under private ownership, according to Aird. 

The last remaining Government-owned totalisators are in Western Australia and the ACT.

The Shout Team

The leading online news service for Australia's beer, wine, spirits and hospitality industries.

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