Tabcorp Faces $1M Fine Three Years After Turmoil at Spring Racing Carnival

Posted on: September 7, 2023, 07:02h. 

Last updated on: September 7, 2023, 07:02h.

The Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) of Victoria, Australia, is taking action against Tabcorp after a nearly three-year investigation. The gambling operator is facing a penalty of over $1 million for an incident that occurred in 2020.

A Tab betting kiosk in Australia
A Tab betting kiosk in Australia. Tabcorp faces a significant fine for an incident that occurred almost three years ago. (Image: The Australian)

Tabcorp has been handed a substantial AUD1-million (US$638,600) penalty by the VGCCC for failing to comply with the regulator’s demands. The incident in question took place during the 2020 Spring Racing Carnival and involved Tabcorp’s Wagering and Betting System (WBS).

The VGCCC has faced challenges with gaming operators in Victoria, and Tabcorp was no exception. The investigation was prolonged due to the company’s lack of cooperation.

Glitch Leads to Significant Penalty

Approximately three years ago, Tabcorp’s WBS experienced a major blackout that lasted for about 36 hours before being resolved.

However, this extended outage violated the rules established by the VGCCC (formerly the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation), which require the WBS to be accessible at all times without interruption.

The VGCCC immediately launched an investigation into the incident. However, Tabcorp has been repeatedly accused of failing to cooperate.

The regulator alleges that Tabcorp, led by Adam Rytenskild, failed to respond to information requests from VGCCC personnel. Some of Tabcorp’s responses were submitted four months after the regulator’s established deadline.

The VGCCC, which is implementing changes for Victoria’s gaming market, has criticized Tabcorp for its lack of transparency and unwillingness to participate in the inquiry. These actions undermined the regulator’s ability to understand the causes of the outage and prevent similar incidents in the future.

If Tabcorp had been more forthcoming, it may have been able to avoid a six-figure fine. However, considering that the penalty could have been over AUD9 million (US$5.74 million), Tabcorp can’t be too disappointed.

Tabcorp’s Positive Performance

Tabcorp recently released its latest financial report, covering the previous year up to June 30. The report showed a 2.4% increase in revenue.

Revenue from continuing operations reached AUD2.4 billion (US$1.5 billion), with the majority coming from Tabcorp’s wagering and media division. The positive results led to a net profit after tax of AUD67 million (US$42.7 million).

While the figures were lower than the previous year’s results, Tabcorp attributed this to the demerger of its lotteries and keno business, which are now under The Lottery Corporation brand, a publicly-listed company on the Australian Securities Exchange.

Revenue for Tabcorp’s Wagering and Media segment grew by 2.2% compared to the previous year, reaching AUD2.23 billion (US$1.43 billion). The segment’s EBITDA increased by 7.3% to AUD308 million (US$198 million).

This growth was primarily driven by a 3% increase in the number of active customer accounts registered by Tabcorp. However, this did not result in a significant revenue increase for the segment. Digital revenue accounted for 24.5% of the total revenue, slightly lower than the previous year’s 24.9%.

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