Tabcorp chief executive David Attenborough is not in the mood for a honeymoon right now following the gambling giant’s AUD11 billion (US$8.8 billion) marriage with betting rival Tatts Group.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Attenborough is already making business plans ahead of Friday’s implementation of the long-awaited mega-merger, including possible wagering expansion in the United States and pursuing online lottery licenses outside Australia.
“Subject to us executing the integration, and that’s priority No. 1, there are opportunities to grow,” Attenborough said, according to the news outlet. “And, certainly, one of the benefits is having a strong balance sheet.”
The Tabcorp boss said they are closely monitoring the developments in the ongoing U.S. Supreme Court (SC) hearing of New Jersey’s petition, which seeks to strike down the 25-year-old Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
He believes that the SC will rule in favor of New Jersey since the momentum is now on the side of sports betting legalization. Should the high tribunal decide in favor of New Jersey, Attenborough said sports betting in the U.S. could become a “very large market.”
Attenborough also shared the plan of the newly-merged company to pursue a license to operate the UK National Lottery, which will be up for renewal in 2019.
To achieve these goals, Attenborough said there is a need to successfully integrate the Tabcorp and Tatts businesses, technology, and thousands of employees across wagering, lotteries and gaming services divisions.
On Thursday, Attenborough announced the corporate setup of the new company, with eight of the 11-person executive leadership team to come from Tabcorp. The Tabcorp boss will be bringing Chief Financial Officer Damien Johnston and Adam Rytenskild, managing director of wagering and media, to his new leadership team.
Also joining Attenborough are Sue van der Merwe, Tatts managing director of lotteries and Keno; Frank Makryllos, managing director of gaming services; and Mandy Ross, chief information officer.
The new leadership team “reflects the best of both organisations,” according to Attenborough.