Tabcorp is one of three companies vying for a wagering deal with New Zealand’s TAB, as the Australian firm jockeys for a position that would enable it to expand into overseas markets and diversify its earnings.
The New Zealand Racing Board (NZRB) is seeking a partnership in support of a move towards automation of its fixed-odds betting operation, in a bid to stay abreast of increasing international competition.
John Allen, chief executive of NZRB, commented: “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. There are no plans to privatise the TAB.”
Although the other bidders are currently unconfirmed, sources close to the process named Australia’s Tatts Group and two British bookmakers: Paddy Power and William Hill, as potential competitors.
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.
William Hill already operates the fixed-odds business for West Australia’s TAB, while Paddy Power operates Sportsbet, the fast-growing business in Australia.
According to a statement from NZRB, it has been open to ‘outsourcing or partnering’ in order to address the challenges posed by overseas competitors and rising costs. As ever more punters switch to fixed-odds betting, it is understood that a partnership with a bidder such as Tabcorp would enable it to improve its market pricing and better manage yields.
A NZRB statement for 2016-18 read: “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.”