Tabcorp and Tatts Complete Integration, Look Towards Global Expansion

Posted on: December 22, 2017, 03:00h. 

Last updated on: December 22, 2017, 12:48h.

The $8.3 billion merger of Tabcorp and Tatts has been completed, resulting in a new gambling giant in Australia that will seek to expand overseas in the years to come.

tabcorp and tatts merger
Tabcorp CEO David Attenborough says that his firm may look to expand to the USA if sports betting is widely legalized there. (Image: The Australian/Stuart McEvoy)

“Tatts is now a wholly-owned subsidiary of Tabcorp,” the firm announced in a statement on Friday.

The final integration of the two companies was a complex process, and one that will continue to require internal maneuvering for some time to come.

“These are complex transactions,” said Tabcorp CEO David Attenborough, “bringing two large businesses together with a lot of history.”

US Sports Betting Market Could Be Major Target

The new company’s first order of business is to begin solidifying its position in the Australian market, where the firm is poised to be the dominant sports betting force in the country. But the long term goal is to go well beyond the borders of Australia, targeting opportunities that may present themselves overseas.

One of these opportunities comes from the possible legalization of sports betting throughout the United States. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) is currently under scrutiny at the Supreme Court, thanks to a case brought forward by the State of New Jersey and Governor Chris Christie.

Based on oral arguments heard earlier this month, it appeared as though justices were leaning towards repealing the law, which would allow all states to take steps to regulate sports betting if they wished to do so.

Any such move would send shockwaves throughout the gaming industry, as many of the world’s biggest sportsbooks would certainly want to get a piece of the American betting market, including Tabcorp.

“There is real momentum for the legalizing of sports betting in the United States,” Attenborough said. “It’s something that’s been on the cards for years.”

Tabcorp Also Linked to UK National Lottery License Fight

Tabcorp will also be taking a look at opportunities that present themselves in the United Kingdom. The company already has a presence there with Sun Bets, a digital gambling start-up that is a joint venture between the betting firm and News Corp.

Sun Bets has been disappointing so far, compiling more than $35 million in losses so far. But that could be a small cost to gain a foothold in the market if Tabcorp can target the license for the UK National Lottery, which will come up for renewal in 2019.

Right now, a company known as Camelot holds the license, which it has controlled since 1994. The next renewal could prove to be a competitive process, however, as newspaper owner Richard Desmond has already announced he will submit a bid to take over the drawings.

The newly merged firm will feature an executive leadership team that features eight individuals from Tabcorp, including Attenborough. Three executives from Tatts will join them in leadership positions.

One big name from Tabcorp will be ending her run with the company following the merger, however. CIO Kim Wenn is leaving after 14 years on the job, and says she is proud of the legacy she’s left behind.

“I’m proud of the difference that the executive collectively have made on our targets on gender diversity,” Wenn said. “We are up to 38 percent women in senior leadership.”