Thursday February 7,2013 : DIGITAL BETTING GOOD FOR TABCORP
 
Aussie gaming company reports strong growth in its online and mobile business, with a 15.9 pc growth in the digital division
 
Online and mobile wagering operations have boosted business at Australian bookmaker Tabcorp, according to a trading update from the company this week, with the bookie firm reporting strong growth in its digital activities.
 
Overall, the corporate picture was not as rosy. Tabcorp on Thursday reported a net profit of A$72.9 million for the first six months of the 2012/13 financial year, down 61.5 percent on the corresponding period last year.
 
The company explained that the result was heavily skewed by the loss of the highly lucrative right to operate poker machines.
 
Tabcorp and rival Tatts Group lost their duopoly to operate poker machines in Victoria in August 2012.
 
New revenue-sharing arrangements under Tabcorp's wagering and betting licence in Victoria also impacted the result. Under the new regime that started in August 2012, Tabcorp was obliged to share more of its proceeds from wagering with the Victorian racing industry.
 
Total wagering revenue, before the allocation to the Victorian racing industry, rose 6.2 percent to A$1.01 billion. After the allocation to the Victorian racing industry, wagering revenue fell four percent to A$816.1 million.
 
Tabcorp's revenues from continuing operations for the six months to December 31 rose 2.1 percent to A$1.03 billion, with the company noting that its revenues and market share from gambling on digital platforms continued to grow.
 
Digital turnover in the first half grew 15.9 percent to A$1.25 billion, encompassing sales via the tab.com.au website and the company's wagering apps for smartphones and tablets.
 
Wagering via mobile devices accounted for 28 percent of Tabcorp's digital turnover in the first half.
 
"There's always been a tendency for Generation X and Y to be early adopters of technology," Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough said. "Smartphones are well over 50 percent of the Australian market in phones. People are getting used to transacting over their phones with the banks, with retailers and certainly with us."
 
Tabcorp said the continued transfer to digital betting and a relatively soft retail trading environment were reflected in turnover at TAB outlets.
 
The success of the company's digital operations has encouraged it to focus increasingly on strengthening these channels in the second half of the year, said Attenborough