The Greek gaming giant, Intralot, have controversially walked out on their deal to operate the keno and scratchcard business in the Australian state of Victoria, after a seven-year agreement that went horribly wrong for all concerned.
“This is a good result for all concerned – for customers, for lottery agents, for Tattersall’s and Intralot, and for taxpayers.”
Those were the words of the 46th Premier of the Australian state of Victoria, Denis Napthine, after the Greek gaming outfit, Intralot, controversially upped sticks and walked out on their contract to operate the Victorian keno and scratchcard business.
Former Premier John Brumby broke the trend of a lifetime after awarding the Greeks with the contract, back in 2007, thus smashing a 54-year stranglehold that was previously held by Tattersall’s Limited (now known as Tatts Group Limited).
Speaking in a press conference at the time of the deal, Premier Brumby said, “The estimated proceeds to the state, over the 10-year period of this license agreement, are in excess of £3bn.”
What is it with politicians and over exuberant gambling forecasts?
For “£3bn in proceeds” see “low tax intake, angered punters, and frustrated newsagents,” and you get a more accurate picture of the past seven-years since Intralot took over the reigns in the Australian state.
Never a group of people to miss an opportunity, the politicians are having a field day over the mess. Minister for Liquor and Gaming Regulations, Edward O’Donohue, firing a few low blows into the groin area of the man that O’Donohue replaced – Labor Party Leader, Daniel Andrews – when he told The Herald Sun, ‘his finger are all over them,’ when referring to the lottery contracts that were signed two months before Andrews vacated his post.
“The extent of the money Daniel Andrews and Labor lost in gaming is scandalous – so far it’s $3.5bn, with another $830 million in claims still before the courts,” O’Donohue told the paper.
The claims that O’Donohue refers to are the parting blow that Intralot have left the state on their way out of the door – a $63.5m lawsuit for loss of earnings, costs, and damages incurred during their time in charge.
“It’s an absolute stuff up,” Premier Napthine told the associated press.
The Tatts Group Ltd. will reclaim its monopoly by walking into Intralot’s vacated space. Lottery Agents are delighted at the news. They will now have to pay $1,600 a year less to sell their wide array of products to a happier public, who will now receive more choice, as popular products shelved by Intralot can now be available for resale.
The number crunchers believe the state’s lottery sector is worth $1.2bn. Intralot – the fourth largest company in Greece – lost $4.8m in its first year of operation, and $17.8m in the second, according to court documents obtained by The Herald Sun.
Under fire Gaming Minister, Daniel Andrews, told the associated press, that should he become the states Premier, Intralot will not receive a bean.
“They’ve made business decisions, and that overseas business will not be receiving any money from an Australian government because they aren’t entitled to it.”