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Bookmakers are lining up to purchase WA TAB

Sat, Dec 14, 2:06pm by Charlotte Lee

There are some of the world’s leading bookmakers believed to be in the contest for the West Australian TAB, taking on the favourite Tabcorp.

Ladbrokes Coral and Beteasy are two said to be throwing their hat in the ring.

The Australian reports the sales process is understood to be into the second stage after first round bids were due on October 28.

Second round bids are due in January, and a sale is expected to be finalised in June.

The operation is likely to be sold for more than $300 million and if funding that is returned to the industry had been included, the price would be far higher.

Currently, Tabcrop has 44.6 per cent of the horse and sports betting market share in Australia, equating to $2.2 billion.

Paddy Power is the next biggest with 19.08 per cent ($973 million), followed by Racing and Wagering WA, 6.8 per cent ($334.1 million).

BetEasy has just over five per cent of the pie (5.4 per cent) for a $265.4 million slice of a near $5 billion annual revenue stream for the industry.

Global wagering groups such as Ladbrokes already operate in Australia out of the Northern Territory.

They have chosen that region for its tax benefits, but they have recently been offset by legal changes around the point-of-consumption tax for betting.

Australia is the second-largest regulated sports betting market in the world according to the report.

Ladbrokes Coral is British with its global base in London.

It has been subject to corporate activity in recent years, buying Gala Coral last year and then being bought by GVC Holdings.

BetEasy owns Crown’s former CrownBet business, which was purchased early last year for $150 million from The Stars Group.

Moves aplenty in Stars Group

Last year, The Stars Group reinstated the Beteasy brand following the integration of William Hill Australia into CrowBet.

The Stars Group acquired an 80 per cent interest in the combined companies through a series of transactions between February and April last year.

Now, The Stars Group is expected to be subject to a US$6 billion global merger next year with London-listed Flutter Entertainment, which is the owner of Sportsbet.

This month, bookmaker Matthew Tripp made a $250 million exit from Beteasy after securing a deal to sell the remainder of his shareholding, which is listed in Toronto.

Mr Tripp was a pioneer in Australia’s online betting market and son of famous bookmaker Alan, who purchased online bookmaker sportsbet in 2005 for $250,000.

Sportsbet was transformed into a market leader before it was sold in two transactions, finalised in a $338 million deal with Paddy Power Betfair, which is now Flutter.

Tabcorp is Australia’s largest wagering group and already operates TABs throughout the country, except for Western Australia.

For that reason, the $9.82 billion gambling group is tipped as the frontrunner to buy the business and is likely to be working with investment bank UBS for the competition.

However, a consolidation play exists for a newcomer, with the New Zealand TAB expected to be up for sale soon and the Victorian TAB licence up for renewal in 2023.


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