Tatts Pokies operated over 13,000 gaming machines in Victoria starting from 1994. However the company’s licence expired on 16 August 2012 and was not renewed.
The expiration of the licence led Tatts to sue The State of Victoria for compensation under a contract government signed with them in the mid 1990s. In the contract the Victorian state government signed, Tatts Group would be entitled to compensation for the infrastructure they had to pay for to set up their Tatts Pokies operation. The government materially benefited from this infrastructure.
The government argued that the contract stated that compensation would be paid if «licences» were granted to any other party from 2012, but instead they granted «entitlements» to other operators and thus alleged they didn’t have to pay the compensation.
On 26 June 2014, The Supreme Court of Victoria found that the «entitlements» were in effect licences under the contract government signed, and awarded Tatts Group $451,157,286 Australian Dollars plus court costs and interest.
Tabcorp Holdings also sued The State of Victoria under a separate agreement it had made with government, however the Supreme court of Victoria said that their agreement clearly only referred to the specific licences of the time and thus Victorian Government owed no compensation to Tabcorp. Tabcorp has since appealed this verdict.
On 8 July 2014 The State of Victoria lodged an appeal in an attempt to avoid paying Tatts Group the compensation. Tatts has stated it will defend the appeal.
Talarius PLC operates gaming machine arcades in the United Kingdom under the brands Quicksilver, Winners and Silvers. The company operates more slot machines in the United Kingdom than any other company, with 7,461 machines spread across 173 venues. Tatts Group sold the UK slot business in 2016 to Austrian gambling equipment manufacturer Novomatic Group.
The history of Tattersall’s can be traced back to George Adams in 1881. Adams moved to Australia from England at the age of 16 and worked in many positions including publican, stockbroker and baker. While working as a publican in Sydney in 1881, Adams took bets on horse races, which could be considered the start of his gambling business.
However, the company started a serious lottery when Adams moved to Hobart in 1895, a move supported by the Tasmanian Government. He set up his first operation there and eventually the company grew and developed in other states.
Tote Tasmania Pty Ltd was a Tasmanian state-owned company, with its shares being held by the Treasurer and Minister for Racing of Tasmania. It had an exclusive right to conduct parimutuel (totalisator) wagering in the state of Tasmania. The company was privatised and sold to Tatts Group for AU$103 million and merged into their operations in 2012.
When Tattersall’s was founded, George Adams structured the company so the original workers’ families would inherit the profits. This created so-called «Tattersall’s heirs»: subsequent generations inherited a share in the company’s profits. This was sometimes thought of as being unfair seeing people inherited the profits of a multimillion-dollar company (that benefited from a state-granted monopoly on much of its business) simply through birth. In 2005 the company decided to list on the Australian Stock Exchange «Tattersall’s heirs» were now allowed to sell their stake in the company and for the first time the public could buy into it. After the listing on the stock exchange local newspapers and other news media listed the names of these «Heirs».