Tatts Group is out and Intralot Gaming Services is in with a chance to win, and win big in a new 15 year deal with the State of Victoria, Australia. The Tatts current contract is up in August 2012, and the Coalition Government has confirmed that a 15 year EGM (Electronic Gaming Machine) monitoring license has been granted to Intralot. The result of this intention now sees Tatts ending its association with Victoria completely – they failed to re-secure within new Government structures and 27 000 hotel and club electronic gaming machines will soon be under Intralots control (outside of Crown Casino Bet – which is actually quite interesting in itself). The monitoring license also requires that Intralot provides all the data and information required for taxation, regulatory and research purposes.
While this is a once-off licensing deal, now that the deed has been done with; the coalition government is to start looking at regulation and legislation for Australian online gambling. Victoria’s gambling industry is currently undergoing restructure, something which also has to apparently take place at Federal level. The EGM monitoring license forms a large part of the restructure, and follows close on the heels of a new 12 year license deal for wagering and betting which was granted to Tabcorp in July 2011. It also means that this will be the last license to be granted before the coalition government looks at restructuring the industry in terms of changing laws or regulations.
At the moment online gambling is allowed by residents of Australia, but offshore online gambling concerns are not supposed to provide these services. Police find it difficult to prosecute under a paradoxical situation such as this, and the Australian population continues to gamble online. Like all cases of prohibition – it just doesn’t work, and this is very good news for the online gambling industry. Australia is a major gambling country (like most countries), the population likes to take risks, and if they can’t do it legally, they will gamble any way they can.
Michael O’Brien who is Minister for Gaming of Victoria, made the decision regarding the competing bids, based on criteria which are set out in the Gambling Regulation Act. Assessments for the granting of the license included criteria such as: Pricing, probity, technical, financial, commercial capability, as well as willingness to comply with the projected monitoring agreement. He believes that it was in the best interest of the public to accept the IGS bid.
IGS’s offered fair and competitive pricing, was compliant with all agreements and currently provides similar monitoring services in New Zealand, Italy and various other countries. Their experience in this field would strengthen the integrity monitoring of EGM’s in Victoria. Now all that needs to be done is to work with the industry, to ensure a comprehensive engagement and information program with hotels, clubs and pubs, to help owners and management to prepare for the new systems. This will be done in close contact with the coalition government.