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The future looks digital for Tabcorp

Kim Wenn Tabcorp

Tabcorp has been servicing the Australian gambling industry for years with its integrated keno, wagering and gaming services, and now the company looks set to future-proof itself in line with the increasing demands of the digital sphere.

Tabcorp’s digital team has increased from just 30 employees to more than 200 in the past three years alone – a move Tabcorp has revealed aims to solidify the company’s place as a fierce competitor in the online gambling market.

The gambling giant now has a technology team of over 750 people, which constitutes a quarter of the company’s workforce. Tech employees come from such varied backgrounds as engineering, mathematics and science.

The shift towards a digital focus is part of chief information officer Kim Wenn’s vision to transform Tabcorp into a highly innovative company that stands at the forefront of emerging technologies. Ms Wenn has been working with Tabcorp since 2005 and is putting her qualifications in Management, Technology and Computer Science to the test to drive the company forward in the fast-paced digital world.

The business faces stiff competition from new names in the Australian gambling industry like William Hill, Bet365 and Ladbrokes who already have a strong presence in the digital world, with Tabcorp recognising it needs to take big strides to keep up.

Last week, William Hill announced the company would be closing its online operations in Israel, leaving close to 250 staff redundant, as the business consolidates its operations to Europe.

How Tabcorp is leading the way in innovation

It’s not just the increase in staff numbers that proves Tabcorp is serious about innovation – the company has taken multiple steps over the past couple of years to show they mean business about driving the business forward.

In the first half of last financial year, Tabcorp’s net profit dropped 28 per cent from the same time the previous year due to $44 million in one-off costs, with high expenses paid towards online wagering development and a proposed merger with lottery giant, Tattsgroup.

In 2016, Tabcorp spearheaded a new development centre in Poland, where the company could get access to experienced application developers that had the skills needed to help build the company’s digital functions.

In the past six months, Tabcorp has proven its commitment to going digital by rolling out two new services. Its TAB online gambling app is now capable of recognising user’s geographical location, so that the app will recognise if a customer is sitting in a pub and placing bets on their phone. This allows the publican to benefit from TAB commissions, just as though the customer was placing a bet over the counter, ensuring the digital shift doesn’t continue to negatively impact pub owners.

Tabcorp CEO David Attenborough said this new way of sharing revenue helps alleviates concerns about the future of land based gaming establishments while allowing the company to embrace the digital revolution.

Tabcorp has also managed to bring its paper-based keno game to the digital world, with bets able to be placed online and via the iOS App Store.

The company’s goal is to eventually consolidate all its operations to the cloud – a plan which is hindered by the online gambling regulations and jurisdiction requirements. The next big innovation is expected to be released around the Melbourne Cup.

Ms Wenn believes Tabcorp is has now solidified its position as a competitor in the digital sphere, saying “In some areas we’re actually making significant inroads and we think our app is best in class and we’re proud of that. No one else has integrated vision or integrated replays … it’s a richer experience.” 

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