The government of Western Australia has axed plans to sell WA TAB betting offices following rejection of sales terms by all suitable parties.
This week, WA Premier Mark McGowan issued a statement to local media, confirming that his administration would no longer proceed with its planned sale of WA TAB.
McGowan outlined that the WA government had failed to secure an offer that ‘matched policy objectives’, when the state launched the tender to acquire the WA TAB back in 2019.
As a result, the WA TAB business will continue to be run by WA Racing and Wagering under the ownership of the state government.
In October, the state was confident that it had reached definitive terms for WA TAB to be acquired by Betr, the new sportsbook venture of Australian betting mogul Matt Tripp.
On the verge of launching its online sportsbook, Betr had been given a two-week grace period to raise funds of AUS $1bn (€640m) to guarantee the financing of the contract.
However, an eleventh-hour dispute saw Betr walk away from negotiations over a disagreement on branding rights. Tripp reportedly wanted to rebrand the WA TAB to Betr, deemed as essential for the sportsbook’s wider Australian market launch.
Branding rights were denied to Betr, who chose to end negotiations, leaving the WA government with no alternative to purchase its AUS $1bn contract.
This week the Australian reported that the WA government would offer to sell the WA TAB to Tabcorp at a significantly discounted price of AUS $600m (€385m), in a deal that would see Tabcorp take control of all state-sanctioned betting offices across Australia.
Tabcorp, alongside Entain, had been a previous suitor of the WA TAB. However, its interest had waned following its business transformation and subsequent demerger with Tatts Group.
Company CEO Adam Rytenskild had previously stated that a bid to operate WA TAB was not a priority for Tabcorp leadership, who are focused on the upgrade of the group’s online offering.
Rytenskild told investors that TAB had fallen behind on its digital and omnichannel offering, as the development of the wagering unit had been interrupted by two years of prioritising the integration of the Tatts lottery business.
Premier McGowan provided no details to whether the WA government would revise the terms of WA TAB’s sale in the future.