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Tabcorp CEO warns over proliferation of gambling brands in Australian towns, cities

March 13, 2024 World Crime & LegaliGaming & Gambling

The CEO and Managing Director of Tabcorp, Adam Rytenskild, has voiced concerns over the possibility that Australian towns and cities might become gambling hotspots similar to London’s main streets in the event that state regulators do not take action to stop online betting rivals from entering the retail wagering sector.

During the Regulating the Game conference in Sydney, Rytenskild spoke about Tabcorp’s legal battle with rival Ladbrokes around the opening of Ladbrokes Lounges in certain Australian bars and clubs. Through prominent branding and advertising, these lounges—which were created in collaboration with the Australian Hotels Association (AHA)—are intended to entice patrons to wager on Ladbrokes’ online sportsbook.

In order to find out more information on Ladbrokes’ AHA contract, Tabcorp, which has exclusive retail wagering rights across a large portion of Australia, has filed a lawsuit.

In addition to stating that the goals of Australian governments are not aligned with the growth of gambling brands like to London’s main streets, Rytenskild emphasized the need of government clarity in regulating the retail wagering environment. Praiseing governments for their tenacious enforcement of retail exclusivity agreements, he questioned Ladbrokes’ efforts to establish a retail presence, alleging that this approach runs counter to government objectives and breaches existing retail exclusivity agreements.

While acknowledging that certain state laws may not allow regulators to cope with the Ladbrokes Lounge concept, he recommended lawmakers to proactively change relevant legislation to manage emerging issues. Rytenskild praised Victoria’s new license for its ability to anticipate technological advancements and formulate regulations accordingly, guaranteeing that the laws remain relevant and useful.

By mentioning larger companies that utilize white label websites and apps to evade taxes and regulations under the guise of on-course bookmaker licenses, Rytenskild also raised concerns about loopholes in rules intended to lessen the tax burden on on-course bookmakers. He stressed the need of quickly addressing this loophole, even if the legislation’s primary objective is to maintain traditional on-course bookies, as it allows larger operators to create subsidiary companies and apps in order to avoid paying taxes.

Finally, Rytenskild emphasized the need for regulatory oversight to safeguard the integrity of the gaming industry and pushed for early action to resolve emerging issues and legal loopholes.

Original story by: IAG

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