Before 1964 betting in New South Wales in connection with any sport, other than on licensed racecourses on horse, trotting (later harness), and greyhound races, was prohibited. The Totalizator (Off-course Betting) Act, 1964 established a Totalizator Agency Board to conduct off-course totalizator betting in the State. There were nine Totalizator Agency Board members with two being appointed by the Governor and seven drawn from the racing clubs.
* Australian Jockey Club
* Sydney Turf Club
* New South Wales Trotting Club Limited
* Greyhound Racing Control Board
* Joint decision of the Hawkesbury Race Club, the Kembla Grange Race Club, and the Newcastle Racing Registration Board
* Joint decision of the Central and Lower Coast Racing Association, the Northern and North-western Districts Racing Association, the Northern Rivers Racing Association and the Central Western District Racing Association
* Joint decision of the Broken Hill and Far-west Racing Registration Board, the Western District Racing Association, the Far South Racing Association and the Southern District Racing Association
The Totalizator Agency Board (TAB) was authorised to conduct off-course betting in respect of any race or combination of races held on racecourses within Australia through a network of gambling outlets, that is TAB branches and agencies. The role of the TAB was one of agent where wagers would be received on behalf of the club operating the totalizator on a racecourse. These monies would be pooled as investments while the TAB could also conduct its own pool of investments. Of the total betting monies placed with the TAB 5 % was remitted to the Treasury, while 7.5% was credited as commission to meet operating expenses and the cost of new gambling outlets. (2)
Initial establishment costs for the TAB were met by racing club contributions. Apart from the monies credited to Consolidated Revenue and TAB operating costs the balance would be allocated to racing, trotting, and greyhound clubs, (based proportionally on the amounts wagered for these pastimes) and the Racecourse Development Fund. (3)
The Soccer Football Pools Act (No.45 1975) appointed the TAB as an "approved representative of Australian Soccer Pools Pty Ltd for the purpose of accepting Soccer Pools entries for transmission to that Company. (4) The surplus arising from Soccer Pools operations was divided equally between the three forms of racing after a prior allocation to the Racecourse Development Fund. Under the Public Lotteries Act (No.86 1996) Soccer Pools revenue was paid into a new Special Deposits Account an account called the Sport and Recreation Fund. (5)
A process of privatisation was commenced through the part proclamation of the Totalizator Agency Board Privatisation Act, 1997 on 11 July 1997. Allowance was made for share capital, the issue of shares, preliminary business conversion, and the reservation of a new Company name - TAB Limited. (6) On 22 August 1997 the administration of the Totalizator Agency Board Privatisation Act (No.43 1997) and the Totalizator Act (No.45 1997) - the issuing of totalizator licenses - were allocated to the control of the Treasurer. (7) Provisions of the Totalizator Agency Board Privatisation Act 1997 (Act No.43, 1997) relating to the conversion of the TAB to a public company commenced on 25 February 1988 and its management prior to its sale. (8) Transitional Regulations for the sale of the public company, TAB Limited commenced on 20 March 1998. A number of provisions of the Public Finance and Audit Act (No.152 1983) and the State Owned Corporations Act (No.134 1989) were to be applied to TAB Limited (9) while the New South Wales Government was the majority shareholder. (10)
1. Totalizator (Off-course Betting) Act (No.1 1964) Section 3
2. Official Year Book of New South Wales No.59 1966, Government Printer, Sydney 1967, p.243
3. Loc cit. p.243
4. Annual Report of the Totalizator Agency Board for the year ended 30 June 1979 in the Parliamentary Papers 1978-79 Vol. 5, p.4
5. Public Lotteries Act (No.86 1996) Section 34
6. NSW Government Gazette 11 July 1997 p.5410
7. NSW Government Gazette 22 August 1997 p.6426
8. NSW Government Gazette 20 February 1998 p.821 (commencement of s.12 in Part 4 converted the TAB to a public company).
9. NSW Government Gazette 20 March 1998 pp. 1617-1620
10. Totalizator Agency Board Privatisation Act (No.43 1997) Section 20 & Totalizator Agency Board Privatisation Transitional Regulation 1998 No.3.