Tabcorp mobile gambling

A rise in mobile betting Down Under led to a healthy rise in profits for the Australian gambling operator Tabcorp. (Image: AFP)

Tabcorp has recorded a major rise in profits, largely attributable to diversifying into mobile betting markets in Australia, a move that has helped the gambling giant have a very successful year.

Australia’s leading wagering, racing and keno operator said that it generated total revenue from fixed-odds betting of $511.5 million (a rise of 27 percent), which included a 37 percent rise in fixed-odds racing betting revenue. In addition to this, fixed-odds sports betting grew to $188.6 million, a rise of 13 percent, compared to the last fiscal year.

Rise in Mobile Gaming

In perhaps Tabcorp’s most striking improvement on business, betting on digital platforms grew to $2.9 billion, an increase of 18 percent. Gambling on portable devices accounted for 54 percent of that, an increase of 35 percent.

“The group’s performance [in FY14] demonstrates the benefits of being diversified across four businesses, with market-leading brands and a unique multi-product, multi-channel distribution model,” said Tabcorp’s managing director and CEO David Attenborough.

“Mobile continues to be the key drive of digital growth,” he added. “Our success in digital is no accident.”

To capitalise on the burgeoning mobile scene, and to arrest a fall in traditional betting activity in TAB stores and pubs, Tabcorp is looking to integrate digital betting with these outlets. The firm will offer certain benefits to customers who bet digitally in-store by offering “non-betting” benefits to customers. A pilot program will be launched late in 2014.

World Cup of Betting

The rise of betting on mobile phones and tablets was nowhere more obvious than during the recent World Cup in Brazil. Mobile betting in accounted in total for around 70 per cent of Tabcorp’s digital turnover. Tabcorp reported revenue figures of $25.2 million from the World Cup alone across its TAB and Luxbet brands.

As expected, the company’s profits from the World Cup were reflected across the gaming industry. Britain’s largest bookmaker, William Hill, reported a 7 percent increase in betting revenue to £805 million ($1.46 billion), with betting on football rising by 80 percent since the previous World Cup in 2010. The rise in profits was helped in part by favourites Argentina and Brazil faltering as Germany went on to lift the trophy in Rio de Janeiro.

Recent Tabcorp Sales Worry Market

Tabcorp is one of the world’s biggest publicly owned firms, and is responsible for racing media, Aussie wagering, keno markets and gaming services across Oz. In the year up to 30 June 2013, the company reported gaming revenue of over $2 billion across its four businesses. The firm has been in the news recently, due to its business movements around Australia.

Racing industry insiders in Western Australia are currently worried that the state government there is serious about selling off its state-run TAB betting operation to private companies. Tabcorp are one of the firms poised to move in if the WA government decides to cash in. With the ACT government’s sell-off of their state TAB operations to Tabcorp already a done deal in 2014, the local racing industry in Western Australia is worried that a similar move there is in the offing.