Australian wagering operator Tabcorp has struck a deal with Rupert Murdoch’s News UK to launch a new UK-facing online gambling operation.
On Wednesday, Tabcorp announced that it had struck a deal with the publisher of The Sun and other highly visible media outlets to launch a new UK- and Ireland-facing online gambling operation. The site, which will make its debut sometime in 2016, will operate under the Sun Bets brand.
The initial term of the partnership will run for 10 years, with extensions subject to certain performance benchmarks. Tabcorp will handle the technology side of the business, assuming it can secure the necessary licenses from UK and Irish gambling regulators, while sharing an undisclosed percentage of the revenue with News UK.
News UK will handle internal and external media promotion through its print and online media properties as well as its associated sports and racing products, including the Dream Team FC fantasy football promotion, which boasts 1m participants, plus the Favourite horseracing tip site and the Goals video highlights app.
This is the second online gambling deal in as many weeks for News UK, having recently announced that it had struck an online bingo deal with technology supplier Playtech. That five-year deal will see Playtech take over from Gamesys as the technology provider for the Sun Bingo and Fabulous Bingo brands.
Tabcorp CEO David Attenborough expressed excitement at finally entering the world’s most competitive online gambling market, although he may come to regret that once he starts paying the UK’s new 15% online point of consumption tax. Tabcorp has long chafed at having to compete in Australia with the local subsidiaries of many UK online gambling brands, and now it will finally have a chance to (hopefully) steal some thunder (and market share) from the likes of William Hill and Paddy Power.
News UK CEO Rebekah Brooks stopped wiretapping celebrities long enough to call the Tabcorp deal “a pivotal moment in the digital transformation of the company.” The Sun Bets site will look to “engage and entertain the betting public in the inimitable style of The Sun,” which assumes bettors won’t mind having every losing wager announced with a text message proclaiming that It’s The Sun Bets Wot Won It.