Thursday 9. February, 2017

CrownBet ClubsNSW Deal Sparks Tabcorp’s Wrath

The deal announced yesterday in the Daily Telegraph between James Packer-owned CrownBet and ClubsNSW has spurred Tabcorp into action, claiming that the agreement between them may not be legal.

CrownBet revealed plans for the ten-year deal with ClubsNSW which will include ATM-style withdrawal machines so that punters can withdraw their winnings in-venue instead of transferring them to their bank account, as well as incentives for punters to use the CrownBet app by giving them access to the loyalty program with points redeemable at the venue restaurants and bars.

However, Tabcorp has made it clear that they will not accept this arrangement which ends their exclusive deal with pubs and clubs in NSW and it has sent letters to hundreds of clubs around the state warning them that installing CrownBet machines may be a breach of the law. Chief executive of Tabcorp, David Attenborough wrote to club chief executives insisting that the TAB “is the sole wagering provider that is entitled to provide gambling services (including digital wagering) off-course in NSW, by virtue of its wagering license and New South Wales wagering legislation.

“Tabcorp’s strong understanding is that CrownBet is not a licensed bookmaker for the purposes of the UGA (Unlawful Gambling Act). We encourage you to evaluate the CrownBet proposal in light of the legal risks as well as Tabcorp’s commercial offering,” the letter continued.

A spokesperson for Gaming and Racing Minister Paul Toole said that Liquor and Gaming NSW will evaluate the agreement between CrownBet and ClubsNSW to ensure that it complies with regulations. This will particularly be viewed in light of the fact that in 2013, Tabcorp paid $75 million to the NSW government for a 20-year exclusive arrangement with pubs and clubs in the state.


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