BUSINESS

Tidbits from Down Under: Tabcorp shares boost; Small clubs bemoan pokies plans

TAGs: Australia, pokies, Tabcorp

Tabcorp logoAustralian gambling industry mainstay Tabcorp has had a good weekend. It didn’t involved 23 bottles of Bundy and nine strippers either. The company’s share price shot up by 1.7% (13 cents) to $7.89. The result is that shares in the group are at their highest level since October 2008. Gratitude for the rise in price should be paid to the Victorian government. That’s after the province awarded Tabcorp with the first ever single operator keno license in March. The license will last for ten years and comes into effect in April 2012.

Australia’s biggest Keno operator can now operate machines in all manner of venues across Victoria. It is expected that the deal will add $20million each year to the company’s earnings and Tabcorp will roll out the machines in at least 1,000 venues. Now all we wait for is Tabcorp’s CEO to call out Betfair once again. We hear they were calling you Elmer Fudd again Mr Kupper.

Pokies machinesThe former convict stronghold is also in the grips of nationwide debate on the future of pokies machines. After Friday’s recommendations, the clubs are biting back and understandably playing the victim. The legislation is pushing for all clubs to have mandatory pre-commitment technology installed by 2018. It’s something that’s likely to hit the small clubs hard.

Talking to ABC.net.au, National’s Duty Senator for New South Wales Township Lyne, John Williams, commented, “These changes will have a disastrous impact on the clubs in the Lyne area. We have 31 clubs there, more than 100,000 members. The cost will be close to $23 million, that’s what the clubs are telling us, to install these regulations about members having a card and limiting their gambling. I just think that will be devastating for our clubs, especially the smaller clubs.”

If the pre-commitment technology is implemented and Aussie gamblers still feel the need to gamble, then we recommend they buy a couple of Koalas. They’ll play for hours and never tell you to stop. As long as you continually feed them eucalyptus.

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