TWO TABS MAY COMBINE
by Garry Robinson
Recently there has been a proposal that UNITAB which controls TAB betting in South Australia and Queensland and the Northern Territory merge with Jupiters which controls casino gaming in Queensland and also owns Centrebet, one of Australia's biggest Sports betting agencies. The multibillion dollar merger will create a massive gaming engine that can only go on to produce bigger and bigger profits.
TABCORP, which controls half of all the poker machines in Victoria, Sydney's Star City Casino and STAB which holds TAB betting pools for Tasmania, Western Australia and Victoria, has indicated that they may also look to a merger.
Here's what we believe may very well happen. What about a three way merger between TABCORP, UNITAB and JUPITERS? Now we have a scenario that produces enormous economies of scale for these TAB players and reduces Australia's TAB pools to just two. This would create enormous rivalry with TABLIMITED which holds the TAB pools in NSW and is currently Australia's biggest TAB. It also owns Skychannel, Australia's only real Racing broadcaster.
If the above were to happen, then it would only be a matter of time before the NSW pools were to be assimilated into one National TAB. Is that a good or bad thing?
Your views on this subject should be directed here and your comments will be added below.
In the meantime, it may be worth looking at some of the Gaming stocks. The Stockmarket usually reacts to upcoming meregers well before anything takes place. Look at Jupiters, QTAB and TAB LIMITED but also look at IASBet (now SportsBet) which has jumped from under $1.40 to over $1.70 in the last week In fact all gaming shares will be on the move as investors see opportunities.
As quoted in today's (15/1/03) newspapers, gambling is a winner with gambling stocks generally outperforming the market and set to do even better with International uncertainty fostering a trend to "release".