At the request of the Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) Board, the McGowan Government  has announced that it will recommence the WA TAB sale process. Previous negotiations, while well progressed, were suspended because of uncertainty caused by COVID-19. Market conditions have evolved since a sale was first considered. The process is an opportunity to test the market with the aim of establishing whether a sale would be in the best interests of the racing industry.

RWWA’s purpose is to provide a sustainable future for the WA racing industry. All bids will be measured against this outcome. The sale will not proceed unless it is in the long-term interests of the racing industry and the State. RWWA will continue to engage and consult the racing industry as the process develops. It is expected that an outcome will be known by late 2022.

The State Government’s announcement regarding the recommencement of the sale can be found here. If you have questions or concerns regarding the sale process, we encourage you to email industryfeedback@rwwa.com.au.

What has been announced regarding the WA TAB sale?

At the request of the Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) Board, the WA Government recommenced the sale of the WA TAB under a new market process.

Since the process was first initiated, changes in market conditions have necessitated the need to re-evaluate the most effective model to support WA’s racing sector into the future.

The new process commenced with the release of an invitation for expressions of interest to the market, with the opportunity for private operators to present their credentials and provide indicative, non-binding bids.

The process is an opportunity to test the market with the aim of establishing whether a sale would be in the best interests of the racing community.

The RWWA Board is required to approve any deal prior to it being agreed and will not support a sale unless it is in the long-term interests of the WA racing sector.

RWWA will continue to engage and consult the racing community as the process develops.

It is expected that an outcome of the sale process will be known by late 2022.

What does “new market process” mean?

The new process commenced with the release of an invitation for expressions of interest to the market, with the opportunity for private operators to present their credentials and provide indicative bids. RWWA’s purpose is to provide a sustainable future for the WA racing community. All bids will be measured against this outcome. The sale will not proceed unless it is in the long-term interests of the racing sector and the State. RWWA will continue to engage and consult the racing community as the process develops. It is expected that an outcome will be known by late 2022.

Why was the previous sale process stopped?

Previous negotiations, while well progressed, were suspended because of uncertainty caused by COVID-19. Market conditions have evolved since a sale was first considered. The new process is an opportunity to test the market with the aim of establishing whether a sale would be in the best interests of the racing industry.

What are the key steps and dates in the process?

There are two main stages to the new process.

Stage 1: Expressions of Interest – COMPLETED

  • An open market invitation for interested parties to submit their interest and qualifications in accordance with the EOI requirements.
  • The invitation for EOIs were open until 16 November 2021.
  • An evaluation process has taken place with qualified parties selected to participate in Stage 2.

Stage 2: A Request for Final and Binding Offers (RBO) – IN PROGRESS

  • The RBO stage commenced in May 2022.
  • This involves selected parties submitting a binding offer, from which a preferred respondent would be selected.
  • Following this, the WA Government and RWWA (where appropriate) would engage directly with the preferred respondent to resolve any outstanding issues with the intention of entering legally binding transaction documents to formalise and implement the transaction and issuance of the new wagering licence (subject to the passage any legislative amendments that may be required).

When would the transaction be finalised?

Should an appropriate arrangement be negotiated that is in the long-term interests of the racing industry, a new wagering operator would be expected to be confirmed late in 2022 or early in 2023. However, the following separation process may take several months to complete before the new operator takes control.

How will the industry be consulted with during the sale process?

A critical element of this process will be to ensure that the industry continues to be engaged. This includes:

  • The establishment of an industry reference group with representatives from key industry bodies who are working closely with RWWA and its advisors to review proposed funding models.
  • Providing important updates through RWWA’s various channels, including continuously updating this page.
  • RWWA encourages individuals to send any questions or concerns they have to industryfeedback@rwwa.com.au

How will the funding model work?

Under the new process, the State Government will put in place a suitable funding mechanism that would provide financial security to the industry, similar to existing arrangements such as the WA Racing Bets Levy as well as the proceeds industry receives from the Point of Consumption Wagering Tax receipts.

The WA Government is receptive to looking at a model where the entire value associated with the transaction will go to the WA racing community. However, the exact funding model will not be finalised until a binding offer is reached. The sale, and by extension the funding model that follows from the sale, will not proceed unless it is in the long-term interest of the racing sector.

We are in a unique position in that we can review the funding models in all other jurisdictions to ensure we get the right deal for the racing in WA. Moreover, we have the opportunity to secure a long-term funding framework that reflects today’s contemporary national wagering market.

The racing community will continue to be consulted through the sale process, with a focus on the development and refinement of the funding model. This has involved the establishment of a reference group with representatives from key industry bodies who are working closely with RWWA and its advisors to review proposed funding models.

How will RWWA ensure the best outcome for the industry?

To ensure the best outcome for the WA racing sector, RWWA has engaged specialist advisors to assist with the various aspects of the sale, including:

  • PwC Australia to perform due diligence on key areas of the WA TAB’s business.
  • McGrathNicol as a commercial advisor to undertake a comprehensive assessment of funding models to determine the most viable option for the racing community.
  • Tony Rein, a former Corporate Lawyer, has been engaged as a critical member of RWWA’s project team. Tony has over 20 years’ experience as a corporate lawyer and commercial advisor in the wagering and leisure industries, including advising on the privatisation of the TAB in a number of states.

RWWA and the racing industry reference group will work with RWWA’s advisors to consider if a sale and any proposed alternative funding model has the potential to meet the needs of the racing sector moving forward.

Will there still be an infrastructure fund?

It is understood that infrastructure is an important component to the ongoing sustainability of the industry, and this will be a key consideration during the process. The exact funding model will be further understood once a binding offer is reached. The industry will be consulted with as part of this process.

Who do I contact if I have questions regarding the sale process?

If you have questions or concerns regarding the sale process, we encourage you to email industryfeedback@rwwa.com.au.