Sat, Sep 21, 3:26am by Kevin Pitstock
The Dow Jones Sustainability Index ranked TABCORP Holdings Limited as the industry leader in 2013. This marked the eighth time in the last nine years that TABCORP Holdings Limited was ranked #1 on the Sustainability Index.
The DJSI ranks gambling companies in 17 different areas, which includes economic, social, and environmental factors. These factors include everything from innovation to stakeholder engagement. In certain industries, supply chain management and climate strategy are key areas, too. Twenty-four different industry groups are listed.
Other companies listed among the top in their industries include Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd, Citigroup, Akzo Nobel NV, Taiwan Semiconductor, Air France, Nestle SA, Panasonic Corp, Stockland, Woolworths Ltd, and Volkswagen.
Making Tabcorp’s award more impressive is the fact that its category is much broader than simply the gambling industry. TABCORP won for “Consumer Services”, which naturally includes a much wider range of companies.
The criteria includes 33% for the economic dimension, 33% for the environmental dimension, and 33% for the social dimension. The economic dimension is made up of corporate governance, codes of conduct (compliance, anti-corruption, bribery), and “risk and crisis management”. The environmental dimension is weighted according to environmental reporting, with industry-specific criteria included. The social dimension includes labor practice indicators, corporate citizenship and philanthropy, talent attraction and retention, human-capital development, and social reporting. Additionally, the seventeen categories in the basic criteria are weighted 57% according to “industry criteria” and 43% according to general criteria.
2,617 different companies were invited to participate this year, with 1,393 companies analysed globally. The factors analysed vary slightly from year to year, but have been fairly stable in the 14 years since its inception.
The past year has been a trying one for TABCORP. In August 2012, the company lost its monopoly in Victoria. That decision by the Victorian government led to a $687 million lawsuit by TABCORP. In 2013, TABCORP and Tatts threatened another lawsuit when Victoria imposed levy greatly in excess of what the companies deemed legitimate. One year removed from the ending of the monopoly, TABCORP reported revenues in Victoria were down 63% from last year. These indicators caused one prominent Australian media corporation recently to compare TABCORP unfavourably to a smaller Aussie competitor, Jumbo Interactive, after the Brisbane-based company won the rights to distribute lottery tickets in Germany.
Besides these rough patches, it was a hard year industry-wide for Australian gambling interests. Scandals in the horse racing industry and with online bookmaker advertisements during NRL and AFL broadcasts caused widespread criticism from average Australians. In an election year, the outcry was amplified, and major new laws were created against the gambling industry.
Despite these issues, the Dow Jones Sustainability Index seems to think TABCORP is as strong as ever. Not everything has been bad news. Throughout the last few months, TABCORP was in negotiations with New South Wales to extend its Tabulator service in that state. Just last week, it was announced the monopoly had been extended an additional 20 years, running through 2033.
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