$50 million to be invested over the next year at UBET

by Noah Taylor Last Updated

The new chief operating officer for UBET has vowed to grow a bigger revenue share for Queensland racing as preparations for the merger of Australia’s two TAB giants, Tabcorp and Tatts continue.

Brendan Parnell, who was raised in Queensland, spent 18 years with Sky Channel and Tabcorp, stepped into the role less than two months ago.

When the merger bombshell was dropped last month it was assumed that the investment being made by Tatts Group into promoting the UBET brand would cease, as it had been outlined that brand would make way for TAB if the merger was approved.

Mr. Parnell though said that ­assumption was wrong and he saw it as vitally important that UBET continued to step up its investment program. “We have no plans to slow down,” he said to the Courier Mail.

“I have a very clear focus to speed up investment in the Queensland business. The merger unlocks a global ­gambling giant, but is subject to regulatory approvals and it will take some time to happen.

“During that time we need to focus on positioning UBET strongly. The prudent way to manage the business is to ­invest and grow.

“This will ensure that when the ACCC decision is made, UBET will be in the strongest position it can be.”

According to Parnell, the partnership with the racing industry is critical to the success of achieving a better return for Queensland racing.

“I am committed to enhancing that relationship and my approach is how can we grow the money that goes back to racing” he said.

The former Sky presenter said that in addition to building a partnership with Racing Queensland and chief executive Eliot Forbes, he will also be in regular contact with his former employer, Sky Racing, which has come under fire in Queensland where it is perceived to be getting a raw deal from the broadcaster.

“Sky plays a critical role in optimising wagering. They are our biggest business partners after racing,” Parnell said.

The UBET brand has a capital budget of nearly $50 million that will be invested in the brand in the next 12 months.

Almost 250 retail stores have already been refurbished and the upgraded stores continue to significantly outperform untouched stores.

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