Tabcorp eyes mobile and online gambling for future growth

Tabcorp CEO, Funke Kupper, boasts continued investments in platforms for online, mobile gambling and betting

Tabcorp (ASX:TAH) managing director and chief executive, Elmer Funke Kupper, has flagged mobile and online gambling as a major source of future profitability.

Noting the company's investments there during the 2010 financial year at the company's annual general meeting, Funke Kupper said demand for mobile device-based gambling, in particular, was on the rise.

"During the year we continued to invest in online technology [and] we launched an app for the iPhone and the iPad which so far has been downloaded by more than 100,000 customers," he said,

According to Funke Kupper online gambling was also on the rise spurring the company to begin investing in a project to rebuild its internet platform, which is scheduled to be launched within the next 12 months.

“Those [mobile and internet] investments will put Tabcorp at the forefront of the wagering technology on the internet and mobile devices and will allow us to compete with the best operators in the world,” he said.

According to Funker Kupper, the company had also upped its investment in self-service technology in its retail network during the financial year. The company presently has 2600 self-service terminals across Victoria and NSW. In Victoria some 50 per cent of all tickets sales, and 37 per cent of all turnover, now go through the devices.

In August 2008, Tabcorp announced that online betting accounted for some $1 billion in sales for that year.

As noted in its September annual report, Tabcorp had also established a Technology Committee in May to facilitate greater board focus and oversight of key strategic issues relating to the use of technology with the group.

Online-only betting organisation, Centrebet, recently flagged further investment in mobile platforms as part of its strategy to grow its gambling business. Popular platforms including the iPhone, Android and BlackBerry will be available for us in placing bets sometime in the next financial year.

Funke Kupper also noted Tabcorp’s results for the 2010 financial year, which included an overall 10 per cent decline in net profits after tax to $469.5 million for the 2010 financial year.

Earnings before interest and tax (EBIT) in Tabcorp’s gaming division were down 1.8 per cent year on year to $272 million.

EBIT in the company’s wagering division grew 4.1 per cent year on year to $262.1 million.

Its casinos division EBIT declined 17.5 per cent year on year to $270.7 million.

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