Bookie mega merger still leaves room for growth

Australia’s booming sports betting market is still seen as being attractive to foreign investors despite the merger of local incumbents Tatts and Tabcorp, which are now expected to dominate the market. The A$11.3 billion (US$8.7 billion) combination was approved in late June after a heated three-week battle at the Australian Competition Tribunal. It was the culmination of a prolonged period of opposition to the deal, which was first announced in October 2016. Despite the approval, the deal is not totally out of the woods with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission saying earlier this week it will seek a judicial review of the decision. Opponents to the merger say the combination will reduce competition in the fastest growing area of the market – online and telephone betting. It also comes hot on the heels of new online gambling legislation, which far from bringing Australia in line with international standards, imposed a...

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