Tabcorp poach Unibet’s former head of casino for new Sun Bets site

tabcorp-sun-bets-hireAustralian wagering operator Tabcorp has poached Unibet’s top casino exec to help run its new UK-facing online betting site.

On Thursday, eGaming Review reported that Tabcorp had selected Adam Ruffett to head up the casino division of its in-development UK-facing Sun Bets operation, a joint venture between the Aussie operator and media conglomerate News UK.

Ruffett, a five-year veteran of Nordic online betting operator Unibet who punched out for the last time on Jan. 29, had previously held positions with Eurobet, Gala Coral and S;ortingbet. Ruffett joins former Betfair Malta managing director David Blackman, who recently signed on as Sun Bets’ new head of operations.

Tabcorp hooked up with News UK in December, signing a 10-year deal to add a sportsbook to The Sun’s online gaming site. Tabcorp announced last week that it was building a 50-person team in the UK in preparation for Sun Bets’ launch in Q4 of this year.

In other Tabcorp news, the company announced that its exclusive Keno license in New South Wales had been extended until long after most of its current senior management execs are dead. Tabcorp, which operates Keno at over 1,800 clubs and hotels in NSW via a deal with Club Keno Holdings Pty Ltd, will retain its NSW exclusivity until the year 2050.

In exchange for this extension, Tabcorp has agreed to make a $25m upfront payment to the NSW government, plus an annual fee of $3m starting one year after the deal takes effect. This annual fee will increase to $4.5m in 2022, after which it will rise 2.5% per year for the duration of the license. The deal allows Tabcorp certain enhancements to its product line, including digital play in-venue, pending regulatory approval.

Believe it or not, this isn’t the longest Keno deal that Tabcorp has struck, having entered into a pact with the Australian Capital Territory that won’t expire until 2064, although that assumes anyone will still be interested in playing Keno when fully immersive virtual reality pornography is finally a reality.