Tatts, Tabcorp seek Australia High Court appeal on fee award

    Tatts and Tabcorp said they are seeking special leave to appeal to the High Court of Australia over a Victorian Appeal Court decision on July 1 to impose a Health Benefit Levy on the companies for the full 2013 financial year, even though they weren’t operating gaming machines for the full period.
    The Victorian government sought to impose the levy for the whole of the 2013 financial year, despite the fact Tabcorp exited gaming machine operations in August 2012. The company took the government to court and won a ruling in the Victoria Supreme Court that the levy could be imposed on a pro-rata basis. The government appealed and the state’s Appeal Court overturned the earlier ruling.
    Tabcorp has said it will need to take a charge of $19 million ($17.8 million) to its 2014 earnings.
    Tatts was ordered to pay a $42.6 million levy for the 46 days it operated gaming machines during the period. It expects to have to take a charge of $25.7 million if the federal court fails to overturn the state body’s ruling.