Tatts tie up will eliminate competition: ClubsNSW

ClubsNSW has warned that the potential Tabcorp-Tatts merger could “kill off” digital wagering competition and increase the price of racing vision, The Australian reports.

ClubsNSW’s public affairs exec­utive manager, Joshua Landis, expressed his concerns in his submission to the Australian Competition Tribunal on the Tabcorp and Tatts deal.

Mr Landis said it was his view that the wagering powerhouse would dramatically increase the number of customers with bundled services all from one supplier in all states except Western Australia.

“This will make it easier for Tabcorp to introduce large increases to the Sky rate card with relative impunity, provided that these increases are offset by exclusivity payment or rebates for customers with bundled services,” he said. “Alternatively, Tabcorp may refuse to provide Sky Racing or to only supply it at a high price to customers who do not wish to enter into a bundled package.”

A Tabcorp spokesman said the company did not share the same view as ClubsNSW, and said the issue would be dealt with in the tribunal.

Mr Landis said he was concerned that if the merger proceeded, the Tabcorp-Tatts entity would have a substantial ability to deter licensed venues from entering into arrangements with competing digital wagering providers as it can control the access, pricing and bundling of Sky Racing.

“Tabcorp has not provided clubs with any clarity about how the price of Sky will be calculated if they enter into a digital wagering contract with CrownBet or another provider,” said Mr Landis. “Although Tabcorp wrote to clubs in March confirming it will continue to offer Sky Racing to clubs based on the current Sky Racing rate card, that assurance is of little or no comfort.”

The hearings on the case are scheduled to start on May 16.