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Flogging off ACTTAB

By 9 February 2013 20

Andrew Barr has announced he’s getting ready to sell off some silverware to balance his books:

The ACT Government will be commissioning a detailed review into future ownership and governance arrangements of ACTTAB.

A feasibility study will be undertaken to identify the full range of future ownership options and the issues associated with each. The various options range from retaining full government ownership and possible improvements to existing operational/governance arrangements, or the partial or full transfer of ownership to the private sector.

A select tender is being undertaken to engage expert advice in reviewing the various range of options.

ACTTAB was first established as a statutory authority in 1964, and has since been restructured as a Territory-owned Corporation. The existing business model, which has been in place since 1996, has served the Territory well. The market has, however, changed dramatically over this time.

ACTTAB is one of two remaining Government owned betting agencies in Australia and, as the smallest TAB with limited market share, operates in a market with intense competition from corporate bookmakers and new forms of gambling products and channels.

As the Government owns the shares on behalf of the Territory, we have a responsibility to ensure that the business is well placed to meet the challenges of the future, to minimise the business risk to the Territory and maximise the long-term sustainability of the business.

Although at this stage we are not prepared to rule out any option, we would only consider full private ownership of ACTTAB if it was in the public interest. ACTTAB can only be sold with the approval of the ACT Legislative Assembly.

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20 Responses to Flogging off ACTTAB
#1
caf1:55 pm, 09 Feb 13

I have no problem with it being sold off, but if it’s privately owned then it should lose its monopoly.

#2
Pork Hunt4:43 pm, 09 Feb 13

caf said :

I have no problem with it being sold off, but if it’s privately owned then it should lose its monopoly.

In what sense does it have a monopoly?

#3
bd844:53 pm, 09 Feb 13

Funding a study into determine what they already know.

#4
Madam Cholet6:25 pm, 09 Feb 13

I heard today that there are 58 ACTTAB outlets in the ACT. Based on the population of over 18 year olds being perhaps around 250,000 people – bit of a guess but based on a very brief view of some stats – that’s about one ACT betting outlet per 4300 people, give or take.

I’m in no way a betting person, and I don’t even recall if I have ever seen the inside of a betting agency, but it seems to be quite a high ratio. If you estimate that half of the population over 18 are like me and wouldn’t think to bet on anything, then that makes it even worse.

#5
Growling Ferret6:47 pm, 09 Feb 13

caf said :

I have no problem with it being sold off, but if it’s privately owned then it should lose its monopoly.

Monopoly? They are terrible to bet with. Better going to a corporate and using a phone app. Better prices, fixed odds, live betting etc.

The ACTTAB website looks like it was developed when Teletext was new.

#6
Growling Ferret8:47 pm, 09 Feb 13

Madam Cholet said :

I heard today that there are 58 ACTTAB outlets in the ACT. Based on the population of over 18 year olds being perhaps around 250,000 people – bit of a guess but based on a very brief view of some stats – that’s about one ACT betting outlet per 4300 people, give or take.

That would include every Pub and Club TAB in the ACT. There are approx 12-15 shopfronts, 4 or 5 at the racing/harness/dogs/Bruce stadium – leaving about 40 in pubs and clubs.

#7
miz10:18 pm, 09 Feb 13

Maybe they could use the sale proceeds to buy back the corporate part of ACTEW, so there is less money wasted on a ‘CEO’, expensive sponsorships and glossy advertising?

#8
dungfungus1:44 pm, 10 Feb 13

miz said :

Maybe they could use the sale proceeds to buy back the corporate part of ACTEW, so there is less money wasted on a ‘CEO’, expensive sponsorships and glossy advertising?

The following is from Riot Act 21/8/2008:
The Legislative Assembly’s Public Accounts Committee has finished it’s inquiry into the miserable waste of taxpayers money that has been the Rhodium debacle.

From the committee’s media release:

“The unfortunate events at Rhodium Asset Solutions Ltd do not reflect well on any of the participants. Management, led by the former CEO, engaged in ill-advised spending, treated company assets and business as personal benefits and failed to establish policies and practices of even a basic acceptable standard. The Board failed in its duty to supervise management and did not place any priority on addressing key areas where they were aware of weaknesses. The shareholders, while not directly responsible for the day to day failures and questionable behaviour at Rhodium, failed to establish and communicate its expectations to the company.”

For the same reasons the ACT Government did not need a massive loss making finance company, the ACT Government does not need a fraud plauged betting agency or for that matter, an electricity and water supply company (that dabbles in guaranteed loss making, non-core adventures) when the same services can be provided by the private sector who can compete on a level playing field and deliver the services cheaper and more efficiently.
For too long, ACT Territory owned corporations are treated like franchises and are run by overpaid, underqualified, arrogant and seemingly unaccountable “executives”.
It’s an oligarchy culture that patronizes the ACT ratepayers who are supposed to be the most intellegent and highly educated in Australia.

#9
PantsMan2:19 pm, 10 Feb 13

Who’s doing the sale? Commerce and Works Directorate?

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!

#10
caf11:34 pm, 10 Feb 13

Pork Hunt said :

caf said :

I have no problem with it being sold off, but if it’s privately owned then it should lose its monopoly.

In what sense does it have a monopoly?

ACTTAB Limited have a monopoly on off-course betting and sports bookmaking in the ACT.

#11
chewy149:28 am, 11 Feb 13

caf said :

Pork Hunt said :

caf said :

I have no problem with it being sold off, but if it’s privately owned then it should lose its monopoly.

In what sense does it have a monopoly?

ACTTAB Limited have a monopoly on off-course betting and sports bookmaking in the ACT.

Isn’t that the same as most of the states though?

Surely the only worth in the business is the fact that it has that monopoly? Without it, they wouldn’t be worth diddly.

#12
Growling Ferret9:43 am, 11 Feb 13

caf said :

Pork Hunt said :

caf said :

I have no problem with it being sold off, but if it’s privately owned then it should lose its monopoly.

In what sense does it have a monopoly?

ACTTAB Limited have a monopoly on off-course betting and sports bookmaking in the ACT.

Ever heard of the Internet – or watched 30 seconds of sport on TV where you are bombarded by off-course betting options available through your phone, your PC, and wherever else they next imagine?

#13
Pork Hunt9:51 am, 11 Feb 13

Growling Ferret said :

caf said :

Pork Hunt said :

caf said :

I have no problem with it being sold off, but if it’s privately owned then it should lose its monopoly.

In what sense does it have a monopoly?

ACTTAB Limited have a monopoly on off-course betting and sports bookmaking in the ACT.

Ever heard of the Internet – or watched 30 seconds of sport on TV where you are bombarded by off-course betting options available through your phone, your PC, and wherever else they next imagine?

What he said.

#14
chewy1410:12 am, 11 Feb 13

Growling Ferret said :

caf said :

Pork Hunt said :

caf said :

I have no problem with it being sold off, but if it’s privately owned then it should lose its monopoly.

In what sense does it have a monopoly?

ACTTAB Limited have a monopoly on off-course betting and sports bookmaking in the ACT.

Ever heard of the Internet – or watched 30 seconds of sport on TV where you are bombarded by off-course betting options available through your phone, your PC, and wherever else they next imagine?

Yeah but there’s value in the physical operation. No one can open up a TAB outlet and a lot of punters simply won’t bet with the corporates. The physical TAB’s still do a good trade out of the regular punters.
Plus if you actually win a bit, the corporates will kick you out quick smart because they don’t have to accept your bets

#15
caf11:57 am, 11 Feb 13

Growling Ferret said :

caf said :

Pork Hunt said :

caf said :

I have no problem with it being sold off, but if it’s privately owned then it should lose its monopoly.

In what sense does it have a monopoly?

ACTTAB Limited have a monopoly on off-course betting and sports bookmaking in the ACT.

Ever heard of the Internet – or watched 30 seconds of sport on TV where you are bombarded by off-course betting options available through your phone, your PC, and wherever else they next imagine?

I don’t see how this is particularly relevant to the issue of whether a privately-owned ACTTAB should continue to be the only licensee for sports betting venues in the ACT. If it’s sold off, then more licenses should be offered – if none take that up, then so be it.

#16
Chop7112:09 pm, 11 Feb 13

Makes you wonder why they didn’t do this 10 years ago before the market became flooded with competitors.

The industry has passed this business a long long time ago and it’s best to sell the dinosaur.

#17
johnboy12:15 pm, 11 Feb 13

There probably still is a market for shopfront betting.

But how worthwhile that market will be is another question.

#18
Gismondo12:43 pm, 11 Feb 13

They have a monopoly in the sense of an off-course, shopfront, cash business. Sportsbet can’t set up alongside them like William Hill, Ladbrokes and Coral do in the high streets of the UK.

That said the cash business is dying both on and off course as peoples habits shift to online.

#19
caf1:15 pm, 11 Feb 13

I wonder how much of ACTTAB’s yearly profit derives from the first Tuesday in November.

#20
BruceSamazan9:13 am, 13 Feb 13

ACTTAB used to have a monopoly, I think thats its current problem. Now days, you have a thousand options online, you can bet with which ever tab you like in the country, plus the corporates.

ACTTAB has been left in the past, its website is old and not very user friendly – Look at tabcorps site for and example of what it could be like. If ACTTAB is ever to go forward on its own legs (i.e. not just eaten up by Tatts or Tabcorp) it needs to get with the times, and promote itself and its services better in the ACT, but in particular interstate.

I’m not a big fan of the Gov’t selling assetts, be it ACTTAB or electricity boards/telcos/etc. Because what ever profit they do make ends up interstate or overseas. Plus of course the inevitable job losses (when they merge the call centre into one the ‘buyer’ already has in ‘Syd/Melb/Bris/etc.’. And sack the IT dept), local sponsorships, using local suppliers, etc. etc. the list goes on.

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