Tabcorp CEO Pivots On Regulator Reform

March 8, 2023
Back
The chief executive of Australian wagering giant Tabcorp Holdings has softened his call for a national online sports-betting regulator, suggesting an industry-backed agreement across eight states and territories is more practical than a new federal agency.

Body

The chief executive of Australian wagering giant Tabcorp Holdings has softened his call for a national online sports-betting regulator, suggesting an industry-backed agreement across eight states and territories is more practical than a new federal agency.

During a keynote address at the Regulating the Game conference in Sydney on Wednesday (March 8), Tabcorp CEO Adam Rytenskild repeated his call for a national organ to harmonise the nation’s “patchwork quilt” of regulatory and taxation structures.

The company, which holds a retail monopoly in the bulk of states and territories, but competes against corporate bookmakers online under a tougher tax structure, has led calls not only for reform of variable regulation, but also against omnipresent gambling advertising.

However, in response to VIXIO GamblingCompliance questions, Rytenskild said forging an agreement between Australia’s six states and two territories is a more likely course of action than creating a federal bureaucracy.

“We want a nationally consistent framework for regulation, not necessarily a national regulator; that could be the way the industry chooses to solve it.

“But however we solve it, we need national consistency across each state.

“The wagering ecosystem, when it comes to regulation, is only as good as the state with the least amount of regulation, because 80 percent of the market’s online.

“And 80 percent of the market’s being regulated by that lowest common denominator in terms of regulation,” he said, apparently referring to the Northern Territory Racing Commission.

Regulatory dispersal creates “disruption” in the market and disempowers regulators in other states, he said.

“So I think the industry actually needs to solve this in terms of the regulators; it’s not just a federal issue.”

Speaking on the sidelines of the conference, Rytenskild told VIXIO that a state-based agreement with industry is a more feasible route to consistent regulation than securing the federal government’s support for assuming regulatory duties, a scenario that would still require state and territory agreement.

In November, however, Rytenskild said federal government involvement was essential to this process.

He told a lower house parliamentary committee in a written submission that “only the Federal Government has the levers and authority to effectively introduce nationally consistent regulations in line with consumer expectations and the betting environment”.

After years of debate and reform, gambling advertising remains a highly contentious issue in Australia, with the latest pushback against the industry emerging among sports professionals seeking to opt out of wearing gaming advertising brands on their uniforms.

The industry has reached “a line in the sand moment” and current regulation is “not fit for purpose” in terms of operator parity and needs to better meet community expectations, Rytenskild told the conference, adding that Tabcorp wants to “be part of leading the change”.

Rytenskild reiterated support in his parliamentary submission for a total advertising ban between 6:30am and 8:30pm and that Tabcorp will implement this restriction even if the government does not.

He also predicted consolidation among industry services relating to data protection.

Our premium content is available to users of our services.

To view articles, please Log-in to your account, or sign up today for full access:

Opt in to hear about webinars, events, industry and product news

To find out more about Vixio, contact us today
No items found.