By Annette Shailer
The gaming machine duopoly between TabCorp and Tatts Group that had existed in Victoria since 1994 has been broken, with the Brumby Labor Government carrying out Australia’s first gaming machine entitlement auction.
The auction reportedly delivered $1 billion less than budgeted for by the Victorian Government in the sale of Victoria’s 27,500 poker machines – excluding Crown Casino.
The average price paid per 10-year licence gaming machine entitlement was $37,000, significantly lower than the expected $70,000-$80,000 per machine.
However, it was reported in The Australian Financial Review that some clubs paid just $5500 per machine.
Victoria’s Minister for Gaming, Tony Robinson, said the Gaming Machine Entitlement allocation process which concluded on May 10 and raised $981 million, marked a fundamental change in the Victorian gaming machine duopoly.
“With regional caps, municipal limits, banning ATMs from venues and our Taking Action on Problem Gambling strategy, Victoria now has the most heavily-regulated gaming machine industry in Australia,” he said.
“We are the only Australian State removing ATMs from gaming venues and one of the only places in the world to introduce pre-commitment technology so that players can take control and preset time and/or spend limits on their gambling.”
The Victoria Commission for Gambling Regulation will confirm and announce the gaming machine entitlement holders on June 7.