10 September was a day of celebration for Tabcorp. Finally, the Australian Federal Police decided they are ending an investigation into this company which lasted for many years. The research was related to accusations of bribery concerning role-players in Cambodia when this gambling company was interested in entering the sports betting market and wanted to obtain a sports betting license from the regulatory authorities in Cambodia.
The Australian gambling giant caught the attention of authorities when they paid the amount of $200 000 during 2009 to a business associate of Hun Sen, Prime Minister of Cambodia. Australian corporate law prohibits businesses to pay foreign industry regulators or officials or any stakeholders. This is especially the case when it can be perceived as a means to gain an advantage over competitors to facilitate certain services. The assumption and grounds of the investigation were that Tabcorp paid the amount to gain access to Cambodian authorities as a means to be awarded a sports betting license.
The company has been operating in the gambling industry since it has been established in 1994 in Melbourne. Since then they have grown to an enterprise of more than 5 000 personnel members and earning an annual revenue over 3 828.7 million Australian Dollar. They are a vital role-player and service provider in Australia for various services including gaming, wagering, lotteries, media services and keno.
During the entire investigation into the matter, Tabcorp was utterly cooperating with the Australian Federal Police. Shortly after the initial allegations were made against the company, CEO of Tabcorp at the time of when the payment was made, Elmer Funke Kupper, stepped down from his position as CEO. Later on, when allegations started to become public knowledge, Kupper also stepped out of his position as corporate director of the gambling giant. A further resignation as CEO of Australian Securities Exchange was his final resignation.
Since 2009, Tabcorp did manage to obtain a sports betting license has been operating under Victoria’s Wagering and Betting License since 2012. They run this part of their business under the TAB brand. TAB is operating in more than 4 400 locations across the country. Roughly 1.1 billion bets are placed with them annually. This put them in a position where they have cornered about 57% of the market share in the wagering industry in Australia.
The news that the investigation was finally concluded came as quite a relief to the company. After announcing that they have been informed by the Australian Federal Police that the case against them has been closed and that no further action will be taken against them, the Tabcorp shares rose in value to $4.79. This is a record percentage increase of 0.4% for the benchmark S&P/ASX200, which stood at 0.3%.