Tabcorp in talks with NZ Tab

Tabcorp in talks with NZ Tab

Tuesday, June 21, 2016 Totally Gaming
The Australian operator could be in line for further overseas expansion

Tabcorp could be set for further overseas expansion after it was announced the company is in talks to take over part of the running of New Zealand's state-owned TAB betting agency.

With Tabcorp set to launch Sun Bets in the UK in the next six weeks, the Australian company has been revealed as one of three firms in line for the management rights of the TAB's fixed-odds business.

The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) is understood to have turned to the bidders to improve its market pricing and better manage yields as more punters switch to fixed-odds betting. It is thought that whoever takes over the running of the fixed-odds business could be in prime position should the government privatise its betting unit in the future

"The New Zealand Racing Board is currently in discussions with three organisations, of which Tabcorp is one, to explore options to automate our fixed-odds betting operation," NZRB chief executive John Allen said, according to the Sydney Morning Herald newspaper. "There are no plans to privatise the TAB."

The  report suggests that the other operators in the running for the contract are Tatts Group, as well as European bookmakers William Hill and Paddy Power, both of whom already have a presence in Australia.

NZRB recently admitted it was operating in a "challenging environment" and needed to change its cost structure to meet its commitments to the racing and sports codes, adding it would outsource or establish partnerships to lower costs and improve its services.

Speaking in its statement of intent for 2016-18, the NZRB said: "Changing customer preferences to more fixed-odds betting and lower-margin sports betting products has seen an impact on net profit and as more customers move to digital channels, investment in NZRB's technical abilities is required to remain competitive." 

TotallyGaming.com says: “While Tabcorp has often been far from welcoming to overseas bookmakers, it seems to be increasingly enthusiastic about moving into new markets.”

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