Tabcorp is looking to beat UK online bookmakers at their own game. UK-based companies have swamped the Aussie market in recent years but now our homegrown bookie wants to go global and it’s starting in Britain.
Tabcorp’s deal with News UK Ltd has huge potential. The Rupert Murdoch-owned company publishes the UK’s most widely read tabloid, The Sun, as well as revered broadsheet The Times, and it recently teamed up with Tabcorp to launch Sun Bets, the wagering arm of The Sun.
And with millions of readers, that arm has a long reach.
Tabcorp CIO Kim Wenn, who led the team that built the Sunbet platform, opened up to itnews.au this week about the scale of a project. It’s one that, ultimately, could prove to be her company’s biggest venture in its 22-year history, and has the potential to be the springboard for Tabcorp’s ambitions to go global, as it ventures into new markets across the world.
Enormity of the Task
It was completely new territory for Tabcorp, which was faced with the task of building a platform that could cater to a market three times the size of Australia.
It would also have to incorporate the online casino vertical, which is not part of Tabcorp’s domestic offering.
“This is very much about building something that is scalable, transferable and on our own software,” Wenn said. “So, while establishing a profitable business in the UK is important, it’s also about building more capability. Sun Bets is about extending the organisation beyond its traditional boundaries and pushing our digital team in terms of how we build products and think about betting.”
The $20-million project that required a task force of 188 people. The team was charged with creating completely bespoke software, using Tabcorp’s existing fixed odds and customer wallet technology, integrated with Playtech Casino software for bingo and gaming content, as well as UK-centric services like a UK payment gateway solution to localise the platform.
Wenn told itnews.au it needed 36 different systems to be linked up and configured specifically for UK regulations, and ported from hardware to a cloud environment hosted in the UK.
International White Label
But the good news is that now all the hard work is done, the platform can become a white label for other operators, as Tabcorp looks to form new partnerships and expand into new territories. And according to Wenn, the sky’s the limit.
“[The] technology capability set can be redeployed, enhancing opportunities for similar partnerships in other locations with other partners,” she said.
“We have one platform that’s powering both brands [Tabcorp and Sun Bet] and have invested in cutting edge technology and cloud solutions that allow us to operate the brands independently, with each brand benefiting from the same investment.”