Tabcorp Looks To Bid For UK Lottery Licence

Australia’s ASX-listed Tabcorp Holdings will renew its intention to develop its footprint within UK gaming, as it prepares to bid for the 2023 National Lottery operating contract.

The Daily Telegraph notes that Tabcorp Governance had discussions with investment bank Rothschild, one of four strategic advisors who form the tender for the UKGC.

A volatile 2019 saw Tabcorp’s governance criticised by creditors for failing to deliver value to the firm’s $11 billion AUS merger with Tatts Group’s main business competitor.

In addition, Tabcorp was forced to fend off claims that the biggest investors of the firm had demanded that the ASX company split its lucrative keno and wager assets into a separate business entity.

Against criticism, Tabcorp has stressed that 2020 will be the year in which its Tatts enlargement showcases its true capacity–hence a National Lottery tender win would act as a panacea for its investor anxieties.

To date, Tabcorp is carrying a blighted record inside the UK, having co-founded the Sun Bets joint venture alongside News UK in 2017.

The ASX operator will terminate the Sun Bets property in 2018 as a costly and humiliating chapter for Tabcorp governance, suffering £ 50 million losses and having to further award News UK £ 40 million in compensation for leaving its JV deal.

Tabcorp joins a stable of high-profile companies aiming to dislodge Camelot UK as the UK National Lottery operating company. Confirmed suitors include the Peoples Lottery’s Sir Richard Branson, and the Northern-&-Shell Group’s billionaire publisher Richard Desmond.

The UKGC’s 2020 tender also holds an international appeal with SAZKA Group, a Czech gaming company, and FDJ, a French lottery operator, announcing in December that they had contacted Rothschild with regard to bidding.