The WA Government said that it became clear, after prudent and exhaustive efforts that agreement could not be reached on terms that would ultimately be consistent with the Government’s objectives to ensure the sale is in the long-term interest of both the State and racing industry.
WA’s Premier and Treasurer Mark McGowan said: “The Government recommenced the sale process for the WA TAB in good faith and at the request of the RWWA Board.
“Significant time and effort have been committed in an attempt to deliver an outcome that balances the long-term interests of both the State and local racing industry – despite exhaustive efforts a balanced outcome cannot be achieved.
“Following the detailed assessment and process, the responsible and prudent decision, which is in the interests of Western Australians, is for the State to retain ownership of the WA TAB.
“We always said that we would commit to end years of uncertainty and a sale of the public-owned TAB would only be undertaken if it could secure the long-term interests of our racing industry and be in the interests of the WA community. Given the outcome, we will retain the ownership of the WA TAB.”
In October 2021, after the initial sale process was halted due to COVID-19, at the request of the RWWA the Government announced the commencement of a new sale process with a view to supporting an independently sustainable and competitive industry.
Expressions of Interest were initially sought from the market, followed by an intensive Request for Binding Offers stage with three Selected Respondents. Within the last month, the Government progressed negotiations with a Preferred Respondent, who ultimately failed to confirm the necessary financial commitments to support its offer.
Through the process the Government said it had become clear that the long-term interests of both the State and racing industry cannot be met from the current status of offers presented by respondents.
Racing and Gaming Minister Tony Buti said: “Throughout this process we made it clear that any sale would need to be in the best interests of both the racing industry and the taxpayer. Unfortunately, by the end of the market process, we did not have certainty this could be achieved.
“The Western Australian racing industry should rest assured that Racing and Wagering Western Australia will continue to operate the WA TAB to the benefit of the local racing industry.
“I would like to thank Racing and Wagering Western Australia and the racing industry reference group for their collaborative and constructive approach in working through the sale process.”