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American sports betting law change offers opportunity for Tabcorp

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.

There are going to be a number of states that go slow, they think New York is probably going to be biggest market in the short term

Richard Attenborough

“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 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.”

UBS gaming analyst Matt Ryan said that, although Tabcorp had more pressing priorities in Australia, the legalisation of sports betting in the US was a “positive” for the company, as it created a “logical expansion opportunity in due course”.

He also said it could be a “distraction” for Tabcorp’s competitors, who have shown an appetite to enter the US market.

“The US market could be a distraction for several of Tabcorp’s domestic competitors and could taken the focus (and potentially restrict capital) from the Australian market,” he said.

Workplace Reporter for The Age

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