The announcement about the partnership comes soon after the Melbourne-based gambling operator failed to complete a A$9-billion merger deal with rival Tatts Group.
The new business will be run under the Sun Bets brand and is expected to be launched in 2016. It represents Tabcorp’s first major international partnership and foray into a foreign gambling market. The gambling company and the popular publisher penned a ten-year agreement, which can be extended even further depending on the brand’s performance.
Under the terms of the deal, Tabcorp would provide News UK’s large customer base with various betting and gaming options. As for the publisher, it would be fully responsible for Sun Bets’ both internal and external promotion. In return, Tabcorp would share a portion of its annual revenue with its UK-based partner.
Reportedly, the Australian gambling operator had not made any upfront payments related to the agreement. The deal is now subject to regulatory approval and as mentioned above, the new business is to be launched sometime in 2016. Tabcorp said that Sun Bets will be primarily focused on horse racing and the constantly growing online sports betting market.
Although News UK has been offering its vast customer base a number of bingo options (through The Sun brand) the publisher is looking to expand its presence in the online gambling market and to build on its Dream Team FC fantasy football competition, which enjoys a great popularity with more than a million registered members.
Commenting on the partnership, David Attenborough, Managing Director and CEO of Tabcorp, said that they consider it an extremely exciting opportunity to enter the UK gambling market with News UK as a partner. The executive added that his company will have the unique chance to establish a leading online betting brand as part of its strategy to focus on “close-to-core” international operations.
News UK CEO Rebekah Brooks told media that the Tabcorp deal is a pivotal one in the publisher’s digital transformation, as it gives the two partners the opportunity to create a top-class online sportsbook “in the inimitable style of The Sun.” According to Ms. Brooks, Sun Bets will certainly establish itself as a “key player” in the constantly growing UK online betting market.