Victorian government loses Pokie case

Thank goodness there are still some courts and judges in Australia that will hold government to account.

The Victorian Government has been ordered to pay more than $450 million in compensation to gaming giant the Tatts Group, plus interest over changes to gaming licences introduced in 2008.

But Tabcorp lost a similar challenge after claiming more than $700 million.

It is not yet known if it will appeal the decision.

The Victorian Supreme Court made the ruling after a trial was held earlier this year.

In reforms introduced by the Brumby Labor government, Tabcorp and Tatts were stripped of their long-standing poker machine duopoly in Victoria.

They had held the duopoly for 18 years, with 27,000 machines across the state.

The reforms, which came into effect in 2012, allowed pubs and clubs to take control of pokies outside Crown Casino.

Note that this is the former ALP government that simply tore up contracts written by the Kennett government.

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34 Responses to Victorian government loses Pokie case

  1. C.L.

    Yes but …

    Don’t we want duopolies torn up?

  2. Dr.Sir Fred Lenin

    It is good to see that,bracks brumby and the Victorian alp is going to pay for breaking contracts.they can probably steal the money from union funds anyway,you wouldnt expact the ” eelites” to pay themselves ,could you ?

  3. Alfonso

    ‘Don’t we want duopolies torn up.’

    Indeed, but not while valid contracts are in force…. you get to wait….even if you made a bad deal.
    Without property rights there are no rights.

  4. ar

    Victorians will punish the former Labor govt at the polls… oh wait…

  5. Joe Goodacre

    What implications does this have for removing taxi monopolies?

    If people are trying to profit from government policy, why shouldn’t they bear the risk of that policy changing?

    If anything, wouldn’t more sovereign risk that goes into licensing regimes make it more likely that less revenue will be raised for licenses giving governments less incentive to restrict competition by issuing licences?

  6. Joe Goodacre

    Without property rights there are no rights.

    It’s not a property right.

    It’s a fictional privilege bestowed by government that private people gamble will remain scarce.

  7. Fred

    Why should governments be allowed to enter contracts that go beyond their term of Parliament?

    These contracts sound very undemocratic to me. One man, one vote, one time.

  8. Joe Goodacre

    If Sinc’s analysis is correct, governments can poison pill citizens for decades.

  9. Alfonso

    ‘It’s a fictional privilege.’

    No , it’s a contract…you understand how contracts work?

  10. Joe Goodacre

    Why should governments be allowed to enter contracts that go beyond their term of Parliament?

    Agreed – there is a contradiction between terms of parliament and governments having the ability to commit the government to expenditure that exceeds their term.

  11. Joe Goodacre

    No , it’s a contract…you understand how contracts work?

    This seems like government selling what it doesn’t own.

  12. Alfonso

    Oh, you don’t understand how contracts work…ok.

  13. Joe Goodacre

    Care to elaborate – why is it a valid contract.

  14. Johnno

    Careful. What if a parliament created an ETS with very tight emissions reductions, gave out 1000 year permits to a small group of people / organisations, who then sat back while the price went up and up and up to outrageously high levels (eg: 40% of GDP). Should a future parliament sit back and allow this rort to continue on the basis that it was a contract signed with a previous government.

    While contracts between individuals and corporates should be binding, is it the case that we want a government to sign the most outrageous contracts that bind people generations ahead? After all, these two companies enjoyed the monopoly for 18 years.

    Let’s say that the Government signed a contract with Sinclair that had a duration of 100 years and paid him 20 per cent of tax revenue each year in exchange for a 100 word article submitted once a year. That could be a legal contract, and with a government signing it would also burden taxpayers generally (as opposed to a company which would simply bankrupt itself).

    Should that contract be allowed to stand?

  15. Alfonso

    Bwaaa….because the Vic Supreme Court says it was, possum.

  16. Robbo

    And now the Labor Party, the mob of incompetent idiots who broke the contract, are telling the Napthine Government to appeal. Those morons should just shut up and hide. They have no shame and no brains.

  17. Dr.Sir Fred Lenin

    This is another reason for Rule by Referendum,no laws or cotracts without the peoples say so.politicians are totally untrustworthy,no matter what group they say they belong to ,do not believe a word they say,theyare worse than lefty journos.Well just a little bit worse!

  18. Infidel Tiger

    Note that this is the former ALP government that simply tore up contracts written by the Kennett government.

    In a few months the ALP will be responsible for paying for it.

    Speeding fines are going up I predict.

  19. David

    In a few months the ALP will be responsible for paying for it

    IT I sincerely hope not. Dennis Napthaline and his mob aren’t great but they are a bloody sight better than the Liars Party.

    I intend giving my sitting Lib member some grief over their stance on 18C but I suspect that, like Brandis, I will get no reply.

  20. David

    Bugger. That should have been “like my letter to Brandis”

  21. Infidel Tiger

    IT I sincerely hope not. Dennis Napthaline and his mob aren’t great but they are a bloody sight better than the Liars Party.

    Victoria’s natural political disposition is communism. The grand social experiment of socialism has failed. Time to return to the real thing.

  22. David

    Victoria’s natural political disposition is communism

    No its not. Some of us are old enough to remember Henry Bolte and he was no commie.

    Might be time to start digging a weapon pit in the front yard it Mr Potato Head [Andrews] wins the election. NADT

  23. Infidel Tiger

    No its not. Some of us are old enough to remember Henry Bolte and he was no commie.

    That was a different age, a time before honour killings became part of our rich cultural stew.

    It seems so long ago.

  24. David

    That was a different age

    Can’t argue with that IT. Deep sigh.

  25. john constantine

    desalinisation plant contract.

    national broadband contract.

    300 million for gillards u.n. slush fund contract.

    union mates run super fund contracts.

    wind machine contracts

    sunshine except on a rainy day contracts.

    anyone feel strangled by contracts yet? best way to change australia forever is to sign crap contracts

  26. Andrew

    No its not. Some of us are old enough to remember Henry Bolte and he was no commie.

    Some of us are old enough to remember Jeff Kennett and he was no commie either. ;-)

  27. David

    Andrew his eminence JGK was but the Sorcerers Apprentice to Henry Bolte’s Wizard and, sadly, not as adept as keeping his mob in “gummint”.

  28. .

    Alfonso
    #1361116, posted on June 26, 2014 at 8:19 pm
    Bwaaa….because the Vic Supreme Court says it was, possum.

    Well….lulz.

  29. Yohan

    Just as taxi cab licensing should be abolished without compensation for plate holders, so should this.

    Those who think that enforcing restrictions on the supply of goods and services is protecting property rights, are not very well informed on the issue. Or at least not thinking clearly about what actually constitutes a property right.

  30. JohnA

    Well, that puts a new hole in the Victorian Budget, doesn’t it?

    Is that another version of “sovereign risk” – in this case the risk of being sovereign?

  31. feelthebern

    How come Tatts won but Tabcorp lost ?

  32. Rococo Liberal

    FFS

    A contract is a contract. If you want to break a contract you pay damages. That has been the basis of common law for centuries. If you want to break the contrct and not pay damages, you have to find some way in which the contract is defective or seek an equitable remedy on the basis the contract is unconsionable, etc.

    Of course, a government that enters into a bad contract could also pass legislation to void the contract. But this is not a good look as it introduces sovereign risk into the equation.

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