Australia’s offline bookies will suffer most from TAB merger
By paul
Australia’s on-course bookmakers will be impacted by the mergers of state-based betting agencies, according to Con Kafartis, chief executive of Australian online betting group SportOdds, said.

Industry opinion is that the major state betting organizations - TABs - NSW's TAB, Victoria's Tabcorp and Queensland-based Unitab - will eventually merge to form an Australia-wide mega-TAB.

TAB is the current takeover target, with Tabcorp now considering whether to trump Unitab's latest bid.

'With an expanded prize pool, the TAB's odds will come closer to the top bookmakers, he said. 'This will give the big punters (AUD 1000-plus a bet) another choice. It will make things tougher.'

SportOdds has seen its business boom in recent years, and it acquired its domestic rival CentreBet for AUD 46.55 million as a spin off from Tabcorp's acquisition of Jupiter's Casino last year.

SportOdds has operating licences for Western Australia and the ACT.

Now Kafataris, along with other internet-based betting agencies, Australia's most populous states’ governments to ease restrictions on online betting licences, and Kafataris has considered contacting the competition regulator regarding this.

Europe, however, is the next target for SportOdds, which launched an internet-only betting business, SportingOdds, in the UK.

The company now derives 60 per cent of its revenues from soccer, he said.

'Europe is where we are looking. Asia is a growth market, but it is more problematic,' he said.

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