Is McLachlan The Man To Turn Tabcorp's Fortunes?

IS newly appointed chief executive Gillon McLachlan the man to turnaround the fortunes of Tabcorp and move it into a new era?

IS newly appointed chief executive Gillon McLachlan the man to turnaround the ailing fortunes of Tabcorp?

For the future outlook of the Australian racing industry, stakeholders connected to the three racing codes should be hoping so and celebrating the appointment.

After a lengthy courtship, the former AFL boss was announced into the coveted role on Monday, and will take control of Australia's largest wagering company in August.

The racing industry needs a robust and forward-thinking Tabcorp, and with McLachlan at the helm, the one-time betting behemoth now gets its greatest chance of revival.

* McLachlan appointed $1.5 million-a-year Tabcorp boss

In recent years, Tabcorp — despite enjoying retail exclusivity — has lost significant market share to its competitors during a time of seismic change to digital wagering, which was only accelerated during Covid-19.

Gillon McLachlan has a big job as the new Tabcorp boss Picture: Peter Parks

But for all the opportunity that comes with the job, McLachlan takes the reins at arguably the most challenging time in wagering history, with a range of headwinds, some self-inflicted and some not, conspiring against Tabcorp.

Clawing back market share and growing revenue has never been more difficult, with how you can procure customers — given the significant restrictions around incentives and inducements — never more stringent.

And the impost of regulations will soon become even more onerous as the wagering sector awaits the Government response to its inquiry into online gambling.

* EXCLUSIVE: Speculation grows for NSW Point of Consumption tax hike

Throw into the mix the near terminal condition of the totalisator and the enormity of the task at hand for McLachlan is significant.

With Tabcorp having successfully renegotiated long-term agreements with the Victorian and Queensland state governments, much of McLachlan's focus in the next 12 months will be centred around New South Wales.

Last week, following much speculation, it was revealed that Tabcorp has proposed major reform to the NSW Government in the way in which the NSW racing industry is funded.

It is understood part of those overtures include exiting the final nine years of the Racing Distribution Agreement (RDA) which could rake in as much as $800 million upfront for the NSW Government.

In return, Tabcorp argues that a change in taxation framework can allow it to compete on an even footing with its competitors, suggesting that the current model was constructed at a time when the world looked very different in wagering.

New Tabcorp boss Gillon McLachlan (left) and Racing NSW CEO Peter V'landys (right).

But with the racing codes in opposition to the proposed changes, which would see Point of Consumption tax hiked to 21 per cent, McLachlan will have his work cut out in getting all within the industry — and the government — rowing in the same direction.

How it plays out under McLachlan's stewardship will prove most compelling.

And with Racing NSW and Tabcorp still caught up in legal proceedings over alleged breaches of contract, there is some mending of relationships to be had as well.

The job at hand is immense but in McLachlan, Tabcorp have secured the right man at the right time.

Latest News Articles