Tabcorp Pins Its Sports Betting Hopes on Artificial Intelligence

Australian gambling giant has invested millions of dollars in artificial intelligence software as it aims to close the gap on its rivals.

Australian betting and lottery giant Tabcorp is the latest firm embracing artificial intelligence. The country’s biggest bookmaker admits to losing ground to rivals Sportsbet and Ladbrokes as punters shift to online betting in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Tabcorp is hopeful utilising artificial intelligence will help revive its flagging fortunes.

Tabcorp developed an artificial intelligence simulator in-house over the course of a year. It specialises in American Football, otherwise known as the NFL. The software uses thousands of data points from past games to run 10,000 simulations within a second. Tabcorp uses the information from the simulation to create new NFL betting markets.

David Beirne is Tabcorp’s general manager of trading. He revealed Tabcorp offers around 60 NFL betting markets. The new artificial intelligence software increases those betting markets to more than 120.

“We will be able to expand our NFL product range across all aspects of match outcomes and player markets. This is a great outcome for us.”

Artificial Intelligence Opens More Doors

Statistics drive NFL betting markets. Websites offering in-depth NFL statistics are very popular with sports bettors. Punters can already bet on how individual players will perform in sports such as the AFL, but the new artificial intelligence opens doors for Tabcorp.

Tabcorp can offer its customers a plethora of NFL betting markets without dedicating resources from its trading team. Betting markets do not appear magically at sportsbooks. Team of researching dedicate countless hours looking into all possible permutations before putting a price on them. Furthermore, the artificial intelligence software does this almost automatically and in lightning quick time.

Plans are afoot to run simulations based on live data feeds while games are in play. This allows Tabcorp to offer accurate odds on the outcome of the next play just before it happens.

The company is developing artificial intelligence for NBA basketball and tennis. Tabcorp’s customers get to see the new NFL betting markets when the 2021 NFL season commences in September.

American sports are big business for Tabcorp. NBA basketball is its biggest sport by betting turnover. The NFL comes in fifth-place, trailing AFL, NRL, and the English Premier League football.

Tabcorp Unveils Full-Year Financial Figures

Tabcorp is the latest Australian gambling company, after Star Entertainment, to announce its trading figures. Revenue increased 8.8% year on year to $5.686 billion. EBITDA before significant items soared 11.3% to $1.107 billion. Statutory Net Profit After Tax weighed in at $269 million, a massive improvement on the $870 million loss in FY2020.

The implementation of the NFL artificial intelligence will see revenues increase during the coming financial year.

Tabcorp’s performance during difficult times delights Managing Director and CEO David Attenborough.

“In the face of substantial challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic, our businesses delivered strong operational performance and double-digit earnings growth. Our teams and business partners worked collaboratively to manage the evolving restrictions, and our omnichannel business model ensured our customers could continue to enjoy their gambling entertainment experiences.”

“The Board is pleased to announce a final dividend of 7.0 cents per share, fully franked, representing a payout ratio of 80% of NPAT before significant items.”

“The strong performances of our businesses meant circa $4.2 billion was returned as taxes or payments to state and federal governments the Australian racing industry, and hotels, clubs, newsagents and other venue partners.”

There was good news for Tabcorp’s Lotteries and Keno business, which it hopes to demerge from the Group. Keno revenues increased 33.5% in retail outlets compared to 2020 and 74% in the digital world. It was a similar story for the lotteries, with a 27% increase in digital turnover.

London Stock Exchange-listed Entain Plc is one company interested in Tabcorp’s assets. Tabcorp rejected an Entain takeover bid for its Wagering and Media division in March. Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp is thought to be weighing up a bid, although nothing is concrete yet.