Sunday August 10,2014 : TABCORP MULLS DIGITAL BETTING IN RETAIL VENUES
Finding a way around Australia's ban on in-play betting via mobiles.
Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough is looking for a way around the ban on internet and mobile in-play betting in Australia, he revealed in media interviews following the release of the company's financial results last week
Punters in Australia can bet on the outcome of an event after it has begun, but only via the telephone or in person. Such in-play betting is illegal on online platforms, including smartphones. With the growing popularity of internet and mobile wagering it’s an area of expansion that holds the promise of improved returns.
With retail (betting shops and pubs) returns declining – Tabcorp reported a 4.9 percent dip in Victoria to $2.8 billion and 1.2 percent slide in New South Wales to $3.8 billion in 2014 – finding a way to allow gamblers to use their mobiles whilst in the retail betting environment could have benefits for the venues as well.
Attenborough has not specifically spelled out his intentions beyond suggesting the integration of digital live betting in retail, but analysts have observed that getting in-play betting via punters' mobiles accepted in the 2,550 retail betting venues Tabcorp services in NSW and Victoria is one way forward.
And it could help stem the flow of business away from retail to digital.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported over the weekend that the retail venues could provide wi-fi enabled secure internet connections for gamblers, thus permitting them to legally play via their mobiles on the premises and under the venues' licensing.
“It is something that obviously we’re working on,” Attenborough told the newspaper. “We would love to develop that further … [That is] certainly the kind of thing the venues would love to see in place, because it is logical that if someone is definitely in the venue … they are essentially betting under the venue’s licence.”
Attenborough said digital integration could allow Tabcorp to promote other products like food, drink and entertainment to retail customers.