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Western Australia to put betting agency up for sale within weeks

Western Australia’s betting agency will be officially put up for sale within weeks, according to WA’s Racing and Gaming Minister, Colin Holt in an interview with the Australian Financial Review.

The potential $1 billion deal (US$710.6 million) for Australia’s last owned betting agency has seen Australia’s Tabcorp and Tatts Group fighting for the rights to run the business, along with corporate bookmakers such as CrownBet.

The WA government will issue a request for proposals to the major players in the industry in the coming weeks. “I'm responsible to the industry and I've reached the conclusion we need to look at the potential privatisation of the TAB to see what opportunities it presents for the industry itself," Holt said.

Holt said he had met with the key players, including Tabcorp and Tatts, and expects other bidders, such as Seven West Media to consider the opportunity. "I've met with some of those big players who we already know exist in Australia. And there may well be two or three others who are thinking of getting into a wagering business," said Holt. "Maybe one of the corporate bookies is interested and Crown may want to add a wagering business."

Depending on what initial offers come through, the government may legislate to offer an exclusive retail TAB wagering license to the winning bidder, according to Holt.

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