Australian Tabcorp betting empire allegedly instructed its employees to minimize the number of winning customers.
A scandal is growing Down Under in relation to land-based and online sportsbooks in Australia. One of the biggest bookies in the country, Tabcorp, is at the center of a row after Fair Wagering Australia – an activist body revealed leaked internal instructions.
According to the document, which found its way into the media, the bookmaker operating in full compliance with Australian gambling laws
has instructed its employees to follow a certain risk-minimizing strategy where the number of successful punters had to be decreased.
What is the document in question all about
The alleged internal document basically circles around a set of instructions for 2,600-strong Tabcorp betting shop workforce. These instructions can be summarized to represent ways to refuse accepting bets from punters who are constantly winning.
According to Fair Wagering Australia representatives, they are planning to deliver the leaked internal paper to the New South Wales Office of Liquor, Gaming and Racing.
The body is said to be already investigating the matter to see it the fixed odds management procedure of Tabcorp is breaking the law.
Tabcorp allegedly instructed its employees to minimize the number of winning punters
•An alleged leaked document contains specific instructions
•The new strategy comes after winners are forced from online sportsbooks in Australia
•Speculations about the involvement of British betting companies are on the rise
Adding fuel to the flames, the Sydney Morning Herald went on to supply Australian gambling news with article connecting British online gambling to the Australian scandal.
The article in the paper draws parallels between the growing influence of the British companies on Australian gambling market.
More on the leaked document
Stressing certain part of Tabcorp’s directive, the media focuses on how the operator imparts the straightforward message with ambiguous words. The number of “individual customers who are not commercially viable” – constantly winning punters must be thinned out, while “genuine betters” or “losers” must be kept.
The alleged document reads: “By helping to identify the individual customers who are not commercially viable you can prevent your whole venue from being managed by head office.” These seem to be instructions on how to minimize the number of fixed odds winners and shifting the strategy to center around the losers.
Online betting business
The Herald is claiming that a number of online sportsbooks in the country “tend to take bets only from losers. Fixed-odds punters who win, even those who bet in small amounts, either have their bet sizes curtailed or their accounts frozen altogether.”
Besides land-based betting shops, Tabcorp is running several online wagering outlets including Luxbet, Sky Racing, and Tab.
According to allegations, Tabcorp was forced to come up with the updated “risk management strategy” when winning punters started to choose land-based bookies instead of online betting destinations where they were banned or limited due to success.
How big is the pie?
Official figures estimate the betting turnover in the Northern Territory at around AUD 6 billion per annum. Even the most conservative profit estimates are at AUD 400 million. However, the taxes paid to the government in 2013 have only amounted to AUD 2.4 million in the region. This was possible thanks to a cap on gross wagering profits tax, set at AUD 250,000 per sports betting operation.
Tabcorp officially dates back to 1994, when the company was first listed on Australian Stock exchange. It came into being as a merger and acquisition deal of the Victorian Totalizator Agency Board. In 1999 Tabcorp purchased Star City hotel and casino in Sydney. In 2003 a merger with Jupiters allowed the company to extend their business to Brisbane, Townsville and Gold Coast. 2004 saw the purchase of Tab Limited, the wagering, gaming and media company from New South Wales.
Tabcorp’s main business is totalizator and fixed odds betting for horseracing and sporting events. These include land-based shops throughout the country, hotels, clubs, agencies, phone, TV, online and mobile betting, and on-course betting in New South Wales and Victoria. The company has over 300,000 active customers.
Other Tabcorp businesses include media companies and channels, as well as gaming services and Keno venues in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland.