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Tabcorp: UK regulation is not an issue in launching Sun Bets


COO of Wagering and Media for Tabcorp Holdings has insisted that tax and regulatory issues are not a problem in launching a UK online sportsbook and casino Sun Bets in partnership with newspaper group News UK, which soft launched in the early hours of this morning (Tuesday).

It was announced in December that Tabcorp had agreed the partnership with News UK, which already operates fantasy football brand The Sun Dream Team FC and Sun Bingo, and a full launch will go ahead this Saturday.

Our aspiration is to be a Tier One operator in this marketCraig Nugent

Craig Nugent was speaking at a media briefing on the soft launch at News UK’s office in London, and when asked by Gambling Insider about the issues regarding the Australian operator moving into the market at a time of consolidation and with a 15% tax on online profits, replied: “One of the interesting things about our market in Australia is that we pay more taxes and more to stakeholders than anyone else in the category. When we compare ourselves to UK competitors that are in Australia, they don’t pay the same degree of tax and they don’t pay racing industry funding.

“We are well versed in operating in a market where we provide stakeholders with the right level of funding and stakeholders are entitled to earnings out of that. We’re not looking to operate offshore and whatever needs to be paid, we will pay it. We’re looking to fund the racing industry appropriately, the same as everyone else.”

The partnership will work as a revenue share agreement, though exact financial targets have not been set, according to Nugent.

He said: “Our aspiration is to be a Tier One operator in this market. We’ll have to get a Tier One percentage from the market. There are no forecasts other than News Corp and Tabcorp’s vision to be a Tier One online bookmaker in the UK. I know the market has changed slightly in the last 12 months or so, in terms of consolidation, but we come from a space where we hold 50% of the market. We expect, not arrogantly, to realise that aspiration over time.”

News UK claims that readers of The Sun make up 50% of bettors in the UK and Sun Bets plans to target the novelty betting market, in line with the interests of its readers.

Kate Bird, Marketing Director, News UK, said: “We’ll be doing a lot around novelty betting, because it’s such a natural territory for The Sun.

“We don’t need to create a personality like a lot of bookies are trying to do. We already have a very strong personality.

“We will be advertising through Sky from the start of the Premier League season on 13 August and we will have in-game advertising from then, with a lot of the other Tier One bookies.

“The other bookmakers will still be advertising with The Sun, but we will have a slightly different take on things when we advertise around content.”

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