Thursday August 9,2012 : ONLINE GAMBLING A MAJOR CONTRIBUTOR TO TABCORP INCOME
 
Aussie gambling group says up to 20 percent of its online bets are made on mobile devices
 
The major Australian gambling group Tabcorp reports in its latest results that 20 percent of its online bets are made from mobile devices, illustrating yet again the importance of the mobile channel to bookie firms.
 
Despite the success of its online operations, Tabcorp delivered mixed results, with net profits falling to A$ 340 million in the year to June 30, 2012, from A$ 534.8 million in the 2010/11 financial year, largely as the result of the demerger of its casinos business in 2011, according to a report in the West Australian newspaper.
 
"But, based on continuing operations, profit was 12.7 percent higher than the A$ 301.6 million recorded in 2011/12, due to underlying earnings growth and lower interest expenses following the casinos demerger," the newspaper notes.
 
In 2011/12, Tabcorp's online wagering operations generated A$ 2.16 billion in turnover, growing by 14.5 percent compared to the prior year.
 
By contrast, betting turnover via call centres was down 6.8 percent, and on-course betting was down 6.3 percent.
 
Management observed that online growth was a natural progression as customers migrated away from using traditional call centres, and on-course betting was falling despite good attendances at race meetings because many punters preferred to watch and bet on races with their friends at their local TAB outlet.
 
In order to service the growing demand through the mobile channel, the company is now streaming thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing via iPads and iPhones.
 
A company spokesman said that Tabcorp's "multi-channel" strategy for its wagering business – encompassing TAB outlets, online and mobile – and delivering both fixed odds and totalisator products was resonating with customers.
 
Fixed odds revenues soared 41.5 percent to A$ 321.4 million, but totalisator revenues continued to decline as the market shifted to fixed odds betting.
 
The animated racing game, Trackside, also grew strongly, with revenue rising 65.6 percent to A$ 82.3 million, driven by expansion in New South Wales and continued growth in Victoria.
 
Financial results for the company show an EBITDA up 5.2 percent to A$ 591.7 million despite challenging market conditions, boosted by 10 percent growth at Tabcorp's wagering operations.
 
Earnings from the group's media and international businesses were up 8.1 percent, while gaming rose 1.1 percent.