June 1st it was announced that TABCORP which currently owns the TAB licence
in NSW and Victoria and effectively the ACT, WA and Tasmania through their affiliation
with the TAB's of those States was launching a takeover bid for UNITAB which
holds the licences for Queensland, SA, and the Northern Territory.
If successful it is likely that there will be just one
National TAB pool. The effect of this will be catastrophic for punters who
currently bet to get the best TAB price either through their separate TAB
accounts or through corporate bookmakers who are able to offer TAB prices.
The effect of getting the best price between the three
TABs is currently a 13% advantage to the punter and when the NSW and Victorian
pools merge the advantage will be only 8%. Merge all three pools and the advantage
is only what the corporates offer which is likely to be 5% better than the
National TAB price. Either way, the overall return to the punter who takes
the time and effort to seek the best price will be reduced.
Now if you were looking to get involved in the share
market, obviously corporate bookmakers are the ones who stand to increase
profits and therefore would represent a good hedge play. At present these
are the ones who are giving large numbers of punters a 13% advantage and who
in future can get away with just 5% and still be the best option a punter
has. Centrebet launched a prospectus on June 1st and our comments on this
are in another article (click here).
Punters should write to the ACCC and voice your concerns
as this will leave the Norfolk Island based Austote as the only competition
and in the normal course of events you would expect Goliath to beat David,
especially when you consider heavenly influence is unlikely to take a part
in this battle. Here's a suggested letter:
PO Box 1199
Dickson ACT 2602
I am concerned about the proposed takeover of UNITAB by TABCORP as proposed
on June 1st . The effect of this takeover is the probable creation of a National
TAB pool which will have the effect of reducing competition and lessen the
ordinary punter's chances of taking advantage of the variances between the
three TAB pools that currently exist.
Each of the current Tab Entities HAVE DIFFERENT RULES RELATING TO SERVICES
OFFERED, SIZE OF MINIMUM BET AND PERCENTAGE TAKEOUT for the various bet types.
By establishing a National Pool it is likely that my options as a punter will
I urge you to do a full and thorough investigation of the certain lessening
of competition that will take place should the merger go ahead.
Your name and adress