Tabcorp stands down 700 staff as sport hiatus bites into betting

Tabcorp stands down 700 staff as sport hiatus bites into betting

Australia's largest gambling company Tabcorp (ASX: TAH) has taken a battering from the cancellation of major sporting events and the shutdown of licensed venues and TAB agencies where so many of its clients like to take a punt.

New and obscure sport betting options like the Belarusian Premier League and Tajikstan men's basketball have been unable to compensate for loss of revenue that would normally come from the world's most popular competitions in Australia and worldwide.

This state of affairs has led the group to temporarily stand down more than 700 employees to 30 June 2020 in businesses where there is no work due to coronavirus-related closures. 

A further 160 technology contractors have also been let go, representing a cut of 40 per cent. 

Business-as-usual expenditure for the current half is expected to be down by a quarter at around $120 million, and Tabcorp has expanded its banking facilities through an additional $226 million short-term facility payable in mid-2021.

Managing director and CEO David Attenborough has also taken a 20 per cent fixed remuneration pay cut until the end of the financial year.

"This continues to be a very challenging time for our people, businesses, partners and the community," says Attenborough

"We are committed to working proactively and collaboratively with all our stakeholders so that we can collectively emerge from the Covid-19 period as strongly as possible."

Meanwhile, chairman and non-executive director fees have been reduced by 10 per cent, following on from an earlier 10 per cent cut in September last year.

Tabcorp highlights its Lotteries & Keno and Wagering & Media digital channels continue to operate, as well as the lotteries retail network of newsagents, convenience stores and other outlets.

Thoroughbred, harness and greyhound race meetings in Australia (excluding Tasmania) are currently still being conducted in accordance with strict state government biosecurity and public health restrictions.

Fees owed in April by venues under Sky Racing, TAB, Keno and MAX contracts have been suspended, and will be reviewed every month in light of Covid-19 developments.

Updated at 9:56am AEST on 7 April 2020.

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