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Plans are reportedly on the anvil at Tabcorp, Australia’s largest gambling company, to expand in United States, where the states could legalise sports betting following the landmark US Supreme Court order.
Last month, New Jersey won a years-long case in the Supreme Court for the repeal of a law prohibiting sports betting across most US states. The ruling has paved the way for the opening of lucrative new wagering markets in the US, where some estimates have suggested punters already place up to $195 billion a year on underground sports betting.
Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough on Wednesday said the company was keeping a close watch on legal developments in America, saying Tabcorp “might well” look to move into the market, but his main priority was focusing on finalising Tabcorp‘s integration the Tatts Group after the two companies sealed their $11 billion mega-merger late last year.
“Are we going to be rushing in there? No. Will we be going into America eventually? We might well,” he said at an event hosted by the American Chamber of Commerce in Australia.
“But it will be at the right time … and right now, we are focused on Australia and getting this integration done.”
Mr Attenborough said he was undeterred by the troubles Tabcorp has faced with its ailing UK joint venture – online gambling company Sun Bets – which has struggled since its launch two years ago.
Tabcorp recently told investors it was in negotiations with its joint-venture partner, News Corp UK, to exit Sun Bets.
“That in no way affects future opportunities internationally at the right time,” Mr Attenborough said.
“International businesses aren’t wrong … the Sun Bets business is not making the money that it needs to.”
Since the Supreme Court ruling, some states including New Jersey, Delaware and Rhode Island have already moved to allow wagering companies.
Mr Attenborough said there remained uncertainty about what shape the US sports-betting market may take, and regulatory and taxation differences between various states.
“It’s going to be a patchwork quilt. There are going to be a number of states that go slow, they think New York is probably going to be the biggest market in the short term,” he said.
“We are monitoring all the information that’s flowing out over there. We are not creating right now a ‘shall we, shan’t we’, we are in the pure monitoring phase.”
Source: European Gaming Industry News