Tabcorp ‘resets’ Sun Bets after slow start

Bernadette McLoughlin

Redundancies are on the cards at Sun Bets, the online bookmaker run by Australian operator Tabcorp Holdings and with UK national newspaper The Sun, as the business gets ‘reset’ after a disappointing start.

Tabcorp has confirmed that the company is in discussion with a number of its employees as it looks to close its customer contact centre and bring all operations into the Shard headquarters.

The company said that at its launch in August 2016, several services and activities were front-loaded to deliver for a new and growing customer base, adding: “Tabcorp now intends to reset the business, including its leadership.”

As part of the reorganisation, Bernadette McLoughlin has been appointed to the position of Executive Director Sun Bets. Joining McLoughlin on the leadership team, in the role of Chief Commercial Officer is Lachlan Fitt.

McLoughlin has been in the UK since February as Chief Operating Officer and acting Country Head. She has more than 30 years of experience in the wagering sector. Lachlan Fitt, was formerly Tabcorp’s GM Investor Relations & Corporate Strategy and was pivotal in the establishment of Sun Bets.

Tabcorp added: “In addition we’re proposing changes that mean a number of Tabcorp roles at Sun Bets are at risk of redundancy. Most are at the South Quay site with the remainder at The Shard. In line with UK requirements, a consultation process has begun with individuals in those roles or with their elected employee representatives.

“On the assumption the proposed changes go ahead following employee consultation, we anticipate the South Quay contact centre will relocate to The Shard.

“We believe these changes will leave Sun Bets well placed to compete and drive growth as we lead into a sporting calendar that includes Royal Ascot, the summer cricket test series and the Premier League season.”

The fact that the Sun Bets customer service was ‘front loaded’ suggests that the company was expecting way more traffic than it has received – even with the backing of the country’s biggest selling newspaper.

There’s no getting away from the fact that it has been a troubled start for the project. The fact that Tabcorp suggested back in February that Sun Bets would create an EBITDA loss of AU$36m (£20m) for Tabcorp during the financial year and the much-heralded arrival of Jamie Hart to run the operation, only for him to leave within six months, provide an indication as to why Tabcorp feels the need to reach for the reset button.

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