Date: 19.12.2023

by Antoni Majewski

Tabcorp Secures Exclusive Retail Betting Rights in Victoria for 20 Years

Tabcorp, a major player in the gambling industry, has successfully retained exclusive rights to operate retail betting in Victoria’s TABs, pubs, and clubs for the next 20 years. This development concludes a prolonged bidding war with its rival, Sportsbet, and represents a significant achievement for the company.

Tabcorp, which has been holding the license since 1994, announced to the ASX that the Victorian government had agreed to a new deal exceeding $860 million. This agreement, set to replace the current one expiring next August, is viewed as a crucial win for Tabcorp in maintaining its market dominance.

CEO Adam Rytenskild’s Perspective

Tabcorp’s CEO, Adam Rytenskild, expressed his satisfaction with the new license terms, calling it the “best licence in the country now.” He emphasized the strengthened retail exclusivity and the government’s commitment to maintaining it throughout the license term. Rytenskild praised the deal’s design for fitting modern wagering and stated, “We think this sets the standard for retail licences going forward.”

Financial Commitments and Expectations

Under the deal, Tabcorp will make an initial payment of $600 million to the Victorian government and annual fixed payments of $30 million from 2025 to 2043, totaling $1.1 billion. These payments, not linked to inflation, signify Tabcorp’s strong commitment and confidence in the value of this license.

Sportsbet, which had proposed a higher bid aiming to distribute the license among multiple bookmakers, was ultimately unsuccessful. If Sportsbet had won, it would have shared retail betting operations with Tabcorp in Victoria. The decision reportedly caught Sportsbet by surprise, as they were informed just minutes before Tabcorp’s ASX announcement.

Impact on Tabcorp and the Betting Industry

Tabcorp’s exclusive rights are expected to boost its 2023 earnings significantly. The share price soared by over 20% following the announcement, marking a positive shift after a challenging year on the ASX. The deal also influences Racing Victoria’s revenue streams, with Tabcorp ceasing joint venture contributions but committing additional funding in the first three years of the new license.

Victorian Racing awaits further details to understand the industry’s implications fully. The agreement also includes Tabcorp’s contributions to gambling harm research and animal welfare programs, reflecting a commitment to responsible gambling and community welfare.

Our Comment on the Article

Tabcorp’s retention of exclusive retail betting rights in Victoria is a landmark development in the gambling sector. This deal not only strengthens Tabcorp’s market position but also sets new standards for future licensing agreements in the industry.

The strategic financial commitments made by Tabcorp demonstrate its confidence in the retail betting market and its dedication to responsible gambling practices. This agreement is expected to have a lasting impact on the betting landscape in Victoria and beyond, marking a new era of stability and growth for Tabcorp.