Gaming, betting and gabling firm Tabcorp Holdings Ltd advised the recent floods on the east coast of Australia in January have wiped $10 million from revenue. Tabcorp is still expecting to see revenue and earnings growth in the second half of 2010-11. Tabcorp posted a 2.9% lift in first half profit to $265.5 million, up from $257.9 million in the prior corresponding window.
Tabcorp said its normalised net profit for the half year was $272 million, up 3% on the prior corresponding half. Normalised net profit takes into account variations in the "theoretical win rate" against high-rolling punters. It excludes costs associated with Tabcorp's plans to demerge its casinos division from its other operations to form 2 listed companies. Shares in Tabcorp were 22 cents higher, by 3.19%, at $7.12 (10.24am on Thursday). Tabcorp chief executive Elmer Funke Kupper advised that each of the company's 3 operating divisions was forecasting an lift in revenue and earnings performance in the second half of the financial year.
"The recent floods put some uncertainty in the immediate outlook for consumer spending in Queensland. Nevertheless, we are expecting to see positive underlying growth in the second half of the year. This gives us confidence that we are on the right path with our investment programs", Funke Kupper went on record with.
Tabcorp noted the recent Queensland floods had affected trading at its Treasury casino and hotel in Brisbane, with a large dive in visitors during the floods and immediately afterwards. Tabcorp's other casinos experienced a small impact and operated normally, with Jupiters Hotel and Casino on the Gold Coast and Star City in 'Sin City' Sydney continuing on with the momentum. Wet weather in Queensland, NSW and Victoria also affected Tabcorp's wagering business as the number of abandoned horse and dog races rose. Tabcorp estimated that the immediate revenue impact of the January floods and wet weather was about $10 million. Despite the floods, normalised group revenues grew 2.5% in January 2011, which Tabcorp said indicated good underlying growth.
Tabcorp said that in the first half, all 3 business divisions achieved positive revenue and earnings growth, with the strongest growth recorded in casinos. Group expenses rose 4.6%, driven by costs associated with Tabcorp's massive upgrade and expansion of its casinos. The $960 million redevelopment of Star City in Sydney was said to be progressing to plan. In the first half, Tabcorp announced that it intended to invest $625 million in upgrading its Queensland casinos.
Tabcorp said plans to separate its casinos business from its wagering, gaming and keno businesses into separate, listed companies were on track. The target date for the proposed demerger remained June 30, 2011. Tabcorp plans to have a "scheme booklet" available during April 2011, and to hold an extraordinary general meeting in the late part of May or early June to allow shareholders to vote on the demerger proposal. Tabcorp's revenue for the 6 months to December 31, 2010 was $2.26 billion, up 3.5% from $2.18 billion. Tabcorp declared an interim dividend of 24 cents per share, fully franked. Tabcorp looks poised for a solid to good 12 months. James Packer's Crown Limited has recently downplayed talk of a potential buy out of Tabcorp, but didn't completely rule it out either.
James Packer's Z Sydney Whale Size Yacht Gets's Shelly Beach Locals Talking...
Asia Pacific gambling and media tycoon James Packer had folks talking this week with his monster yacht, Z Sydney, anchored off Shelly Beach. While Packer’s luxury boat might seem large for Cabbage Tree Bay, it’s just one of many similar boats that have been seen on Pittwater, behind Sydney's Northern Beaches over summer. Broken Bay water police commander senior sergeant Chris Morgan said the larger boats were self-contained and rarely caused any problems. "Packer’s boat is big but there are plenty of other big ones," he said. Palm Beach water taxi driver Brad Fogarty said there were "plenty of big boats" between Christmas and New Year. "I think Ilonka was the biggest, but so was Northern Star, which had a chopper on the back and five or six tenders," he said. What a life a big time gambling and media business can bring hey.
Australia Just Weeks Away From Combating Illegal Sports Betting Corruption?...
The top brass of the down unders lucky 7 major sports could be only weeks away from approving a raft of measures designed to combat the stench of illegal gambling. Former Australian cricket chief Malcolm Speed is in the final stages of compiling a report into how the Coalition of Major Professional Participation Sports (COMPPS)...which represents rugby league, rugby union, AFL, netball, tennis, football and cricket...can combat corruption.
We understand the codes have scrapped plans to form an integrity commission but are focused on convincing the federal government to bring in laws to cater specifically for illegal gambling on sport. The latest developments come as the NRL endures yet more negative headlines relating to suspicious betting activity on last year's round 24 game between the Bulldogs and North Queensland. Bulldogs forward Ryan Tandy was arrested and charged 2 days ago after allegedly providing false evidence to a law enforcement agency in relation to the matter. Tandy, at the centre of police probes into the game, has denied any wrongdoing.
Police declined to comment on the prospect of further arrests in coming days, although they did confirm their investigation into the suspect game could be completed by the end of this month. Speed provided a draft document to a working group of the 7 major sports which was discussed at length via meetings over the past 2 days. He took note of their feedback and fully expects to finalise his recommendations within 2 weeks.
"We have now reached a stage where a number of changes have been suggested," Speed said. "Most of the issues are resolved but there are a couple that have not quite been resolved. It will now go from that working party to the seven chief executives of the sports. There are some recommendations on some action the sports should take to make sure so far as possible they have covered all of the options in relation to gambling and corruption."
While there were suggestions the sports would join forces to form an integrity commission designed to track and watch out for suspicious gambling activity, it is understood that concept has gone by the wayside. However, the sports are in agreement over the need for sports-specific legislation which would allow governments to take action against anyone involved in illegal activity.
"It's important that each sport has its own processes to deal with anti-corruption," Speed said. "What's become apparent is there are some things we can do together that are cost-effective and more effective by doing them together. They're the sort of things we'll be recommending to the chief executives."
The sports have already held talks with federal Sports Minister Mark Arbib to discuss the subject of jail sentences for athletes in relation to match fixing. The concept has already been adopted in Britain where athletes face jail sentences for corruption. We tip that some current and former players and players agents will do jail time, by the time the proposals become law.
A Media Man spokesperson said "On the surface the new proposal containing ways to combat corruption looks impress. Something needed to be done, and this looks to be it. Some laws will be more general, while some are sport specific. That approach will help catch out the bad apples. Many of our friends and associates are excited and positive about the forecast changes. Everyone should win... except for the bad guys who have been engaged in corruption. Here's to a much cleaner Australian sporting landscape in 2011".
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