Racing body in a fight for tax cash
AN annual payment in the vicinity of $40 million is at stake as Racing Queensland's Supreme Court claim against its principal wagering partner Tabcorp continues.
In a statement released on Wednesday, Tabcorp said "the claim relates to the extent to which the Point of Consumption Tax imposed on (Tabcorp's Queensland wagering provider) UBET is borne by UBET or Racing Queensland and impacts the calculation of fees".
Those calculations come under the 30-year Queensland Product and Program Deed between the two parties and also the Deed of Understanding which was entered into before UBET's parent company merged with Tabcorp in 2017.
Tabcorp argues UBET should be allowed to offset the fees paid to RQ that reflects 100 per cent of the increase it pays as a result of POC. It says RQ's position is that it should only be permitted to offset 39 per cent.
RQ has alleged it has been underpaid by about $11 million in the first three months after POC was introduced, from October to December.
When questioned on the matter by Opposition racing spokesman John-Paul Langbroek during Tuesday night's estimates hearing, RQ chief executive Brendan Parnell declined to elaborate.
"As the matter is subject to legal proceedings currently under way through the court system, we are not in a position to comment or explain further, other than to say our responsibility is to the state and to our industry to represent its interests in the best possible way," he said.
In announcing the new POC tax in September, State Treasurer Jackie Trad said the Government would provide "additional financial support to ensure there is no negative impact on Queensland's racing industry".
It was assumed this meant that whatever Tabcorp deducted from its payments to RQ as a result of POC payments to the state, the Government would return to RQ.
A $40 million annual deduction would be catastrophic for the Queensland industry, but there is a sense from Tabcorp that RQ is attempting a "double dip" with its legal claim.
In a note to his team, Tabcorp's managing director of wagering and media Adam Rytenskild said that this was "a legal issue which doesn't impact our day-to-day operations and relationship with the Queensland racing industry''.