Tabcorp reinvented itself in 2022, and venues are going to reap the benefits of a sleeker, bolder company this year and beyond.

There are great years and then there are historic years. For Paul Carew, chief operating officer, 2022 was a historic year for Tabcorp.

“We successfully completed the demerger of Lotteries and Keno. This was critically important because it frees us up to focus on our core business.

“We’ve really hit the ground running.”

In the last year, the company launched a new TAB app, making it simpler to place a bet, and have recently launched two new products – a social betting function and a same game multi function.

“The app is a real game changer for us. It’s fair to say our app hasn’t been up to scratch – now we’ve changed that, and it will continue to evolve in 2023,” states Carew.

From a retail perspective Tabcorp has introduced TAB Turf – a rebrand of many of its retail venues as well as the creation of digital-only venues that provide a cashless option for pubs. Meanwhile, MAX has begun a pivot to integrity services, with a major coup of securing the contract to monitor all electronic gaming machines in pubs and clubs in Tasmania. And from a SKY perspective, the company successfully secured the rights to distribute the Melbourne Cup Carnival globally.

A line in the sand

The company’s transformation strategy is well underway, and the demerger was the demarcation between the old and the new Tabcorp.

“We’re more aggressive, innovative and customer focused then we have ever been before. We’re free to chart our own course,” states the COO.

“We’ve shown as a new company what we can achieve. We launched a new app on time – and it’s performing really well. You can see our retail venues are looking different. We’re moving at pace.”

The company has had some legislative wins as well. The nature of the business means it can pay up to double the fees and taxes of its competitors. But legislative changes lobbied for in Queensland, Tasmania and the ACT have levelled the playing field in those jurisdictions, and Carew expects more states to follow.

“That’s critically important because it allows us to invest more back into our customers and it means a better funded industry.”

Opportunities in venue

Tabcorp’s partnership with pubs is a huge focus of 2023, using a couple of key products to enhance the in-venue wagering experience.

“We’re so focused on innovating the experience at pubs. Venue Mode is a critical part of that – only TAB can offer this fully integrated digital experience within pubs. That really encourages punters to come into your venue and we’ll continue to grow Venue Mode in 2023, and we’ll continue to refresh and innovate the look and feel of TAB in pubs,” states Carew.

Tabcorp has also given venues the option to become a TAB Digital Retail venue. It’s a cashless retail format that integrates Venue Mode via the TAB app and comes with SKY Racing vision. It’s a big change in its venue offering. With SKY in the mix, Tabcorp is also able to help its partners provide customers with a holistic entertainment experience.

“TAB is the only wagering company with the complete betting ecosystem. We have the digital app, the retail option, SKY Racing and in venue offers. No other company has that.”

Carew sees plenty of opportunity for Tabcorp to work with its pub partners this year to maximise growth, including the optimisation of Venue Mode.

“One thing we really want to work closely with pubs on over the next year is enhancing our presence in venues. Fresh branding, a new TAB look. That’s important for us. You’ll see more TAB digital venues too with a more streamlined design aesthetic.”

This article was originally published in Australian Hotelier’s 2023 Annual Industry Leaders Forum.

Vanessa Cavasinni

Vanessa Cavasinni is the managing editor of Australian Hotelier and Club Management, trade publications for the pub and club sectors respectively. Vanessa has been at the helm of Australian Hotelier since...

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