RWWA urges TAB to focus on online & mobile betting development

RWWA Chief Executive Richard Burt

Western Australia state owned betting operator TAB is set to focus its business towards online sports betting amid a decline in its racing operations.

Last week Racing and Wagering Western Australia (RWWA) issued its annual sports betting report outlining that revenue growth jumped 36% in the past 12 months to July 31 – AUS $160 million, the increase was driven by the growing popularity of online fixed-odds betting.

The reported increase was in-contrast to WA TAB’s flat revenue performance for 2014. The state owned operator had also reported decreasing turnover at its racetrack venues as attendances declined.

RWWA noted that a change in strategy would be needed in order for TAB to turn around its performance. Chief Executive Richard Burt stated that the growth in online sports betting was a worldwide trend, which was driven by consumer habits and behaviour, TAB would have to accommodate its products and services in order to be competitive.

Burt urged TAB to focus on new product developments which would attract consumers to wager through their mobile phones and tablet devices.

Despite the rise of fixed-odds and sports betting via mobile devices, Mr Burt insisted it did not necessarily threaten the viability of the TAB’s stores.

“If you think about what our mobile growth is – and it’s growing at around 115 per cent – you would think ‘wow, retail must be going backwards in big numbers’,” he said.

“It’s not. The majority of the growth is coming via mobile and retail is flat. But that’s customers’ choice – they want mobility as opposed to what people do when they go into a TAB or a pub TAB when they’re with friends looking

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