Australian betting giant Tabcorp is ready enter the UK and Irish gambling markets in spring.
Tabcorp, in partnership with Rupert Murdoch’s News UK, is scheduled to launch Sun Bets within six months, reported The Financial Times.
“It is a natural step for us,” said David Attenborough, Tabcorp’s chief executive. “We have worked with News Ltd. closely in Australia and built up a high degree of trust. They have one of the strongest brands in the UK with half of the UK betting population regularly reading or engaging with The Sun.”
Tabcorp announced the deal with News Corp subsidiary News UK, publisher of The Sun along with The Times and Sunday Times, in December. The contract is set to run for an initial ten years but could be extended depending on its performance.
The agreement brings together Tabcorp’s capability in global wagering and News UK’s customer base and media assets, as well as its associated sports and racing products Dream Team FC, Favourite and Goals.
According to Attenborough, The Sun has more than ten million readers per week and over one million football fans actively engaged through the Dream Team FC fantasy football competition, adding that the partnership marked an exciting opportunity for the company to carve out a slice of the UK’s $7 billion online sports and race betting market.
Morgan Stanley analyst Mark Goodridge believes that the News Corp-run rugby league and soccer competitions are dominating the Australian fantasy sports market with an estimated 1.4 million fantasy players. Tabcorp could use its partnership with News Corp to create a powerful fantasy sports presence in its home market to offset its online losses.
Tabcorp has been working to protect its position as Australia’s largest wagering operator in the last few years as a slew of largely UK-based corporate bookmakerssuch as Paddy Power, William Hill, Bet365 and Ladbrokes have started to erode its market share.
The investment bank estimates that the Australian wagering operator’s share of the country’s online wagering turnover will be 23% in 2018, down from 30% in 2010 but a daily fantasy sports site could be used as another subscriber acquisition tool which would allow Tabcorp to start to monetize new subscribers with racing products.