Thu, Aug 15, 8:30am by Staff Writer
The Australian Greens’ spokesperson for Gambling and Mental Health, the Hon Alison Xamon has put forward amendments to the TAB Bill 2019 that, if adopted, will remove the electronic gambling platform Trackside from the sale of the TAB.
The Bill is scheduled to be debated in the Upper House this week after having been passed by the Lower House in June, The National Tribune reports.
“Let’s be clear – despite what the Government says – Trackside and poker machines are for all intents and purposes the same thing: they are both forms of electronic gambling, and they are programmed to be addictive and to derive maximum profits for the owners.
“Western Australians are justifiably proud of the fact that WA has been the only State not to have pokies except for in the Casino.
“We know that any short term financial gain from including Trackside in the sale will be offset many times over by the social harms it will bring,” Ms Xamon cautioned.
“I urge my fellow parliamentarians to heed the warnings of public health experts and the community sector.
“It is outrageous that the Government has proceeded this far in the face of such widespread evidence based opposition. If electronic gambling forms part of the sale of the TAB there will be no going back.
“If Labor, the Liberals, the Nationals and the cross-bench are serious about promoting the well-being of West Australians they should support my amendments when the Bill is debated in Parliament this week,” she said.
Australia’s biggest gambling company is embarking on an aggressive marketing and
bonus-bet push, despite fierce competition from its online bookmaker rivals.
In February, Tabcorp revealed a slump from its wagering division, which contributed to its overall profits missing analysts’ forecasts, had come on the back of a deliberate promotional push to expand its customer base.
For years Tabcorp’s advertising has been subdued in comparison to its online-only rivals, with Tabcorp merging its national operations with the Tatts Group.
The bookmaker has increased its marketing efforts since the 2018 footy finals and spring racing carnival, which has helped it hold its market share.
“I don’t think you’ll see us taking our foot off the pedal for the next year, or year and a half as we manage through this transition,” Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough told the Sydney Morning Herald.
@AlisonXamon is fighting back. Firstly the WA government are selling the TAB which is bad enough and now they want to allow Trackside Electronic gaming machines at every TAB. The community sector is opposed. WACOSS is opposed. Alison and The Greens are fighting back.
— David C Deex 🌻🌹 #CentreLeft (@DavidDeex) August 13, 2019
“It is really crucial during transition that we keep going strong so we don’t see market share too heavily eroded.”
Tabcorp told shareholders this week that its underlying profit for the six months to December was $210.6 million – more than twice the profit it made the same time last year.
The figure still fell short of forecasts, which had been in excess of $223 million.
Tabcorp’s half yearly results also show a market that is increasingly tempted by big money lotto draws.
The performance of the company’s digital lotteries sector increased an impressive 63.5 per cent in turnover, due to a growth in product offerings and business improvements.
Digital lotteries now make up 21.5 per cent of that segment’s total turnover, which Mr Attenborough called the standout performance of the results.
Retail turnover has also seen sizable growth, up 11 per cent.
“The strong performance was driven by digital growth and game innovation, including bigger and more frequent Powerball jackpots,” Mr Attenborough told IT News.
Big prizes and the ability to get your lucky numbers in digitally instead of queuing at a newsagent is also seen as a major reason for the boom in digital lotteries.
Total lotteries revenue was up 19.6 per cent, coming in at $1.292 million.
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