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TAB brand replaces UBET across Australia

| By iGB Editorial Team
UBET customers transferred to TAB in the biggest move since last year's Aus$11bn Tabcorp-Tatts merger

Betting brand UBET has ceased to operate across Australia from today with customers transferred to TAB in the biggest consumer-facing shake-up since the Tabcorp-Tatts Aus$11bn merger a year ago.

Tatts’ UBET brand will disappear from Queensland, South Australia, Tasmania and the Northern Territory, where Tatts held exclusive retail betting licences. All its venues will be rebranded, and sponsorship agreements changed to the TAB brand, alongside the UBET app and website.

The merging of the two brands means that TAB – already active in Victoria, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory – is now available in seven of the eight Australian states. The changes to around 1,300 retail properties will be completed by the end of March.

The company said it believes former UBET customers will benefit from a more comprehensive service, such as the addition of Sky Racing content already available on TAB.

“The changing of brands from UBET to TAB is one of the largest customer rebranding exercises in recent history in Australia and is a significant key milestone in the post-merger integration of the former Tatts operations into Tabcorp,” said Adam Rytenskild, Tabcorp’s managing director of wagering and media.

“We have already made a number of significant changes in the UBET states. These have included the rollout of our digital commissions model for venues and substantial fixed-odds improvements.

“The rebranding is the first significant customer-facing change and a key step in our effort to improve the performance of the UBET business.”

Tatts launched UBET in 2015 to replace its former TattsBet brand across the four states where it was operational. UBET’s launch coincided with high-profile partnerships with AFL Aussie Rules football teams Port Adelaide and Gold Coast Suns and Australia-based touring car championship V8 Series.

Plans to merge UBET with TAB were announced when Tabcorp and Tatts combined last December, with Tatts shutting down its Luxbet online betting business just days after the deal completed.

Tabcorp’s financial results for the year to June 30, released in August, showed that TAB’s revenue rose 2.5%, while UBET’s fell 0.7% despite a better second half that saw its first revenue growth since 2015. Total wagering revenue was at $2.19bn, with EBIT at $261.7m.

In a statement at the time, Tabcorp CEO David Attenbrough said: “[UBET] has had hard years of decline, it’s got a weak brand … it didn’t have scale, it didn’t have the range of products and investment required for it to compete.

“The stronger performance of TAB relative to UBET highlights the opportunity to improve the UBET business across its digital and retail channels, products and yield management.”

Tabcorp said it had delivered initial merger synergies of $8m in earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation in the 2018 year. It is aiming for $50 million in synergies in 2019 and said it remains on track to deliver $130m in EBITDA by the 2021 financial year.

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