Australian gambling mega merger approved
Competition authorities in Australia have approved the Aus$11 billion (£6.6bn) merger between gambling giants Tabcorp and Tatts Group.
The merged companies will control about 90 per cent of Australia's totalisator betting.
Tabcorp chairman Paula Dwyer said: "The combination will bring together two great Australian businesses, well positioned to invest, innovate and compete in a global gambling entertainment marketplace."
The merger was opposed by Racing Victoria, who believed it to be bad for the racing industry, as well as corporate bookmakers including Ladbrokes and Sportsbet, which is owned by Paddy Power Betfair.
However, the Australian Competition Tribunal said the deal could go through provided Tabcorp sold a Queensland-based poker machine monitoring business.
Tabcorp issued a trading update following the news in which they said their UK start-up business Sun Bets was forecast to report an Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxation, depreciation and amortisation) loss of Aus$24m in the second half of 2017.
Sun Bets, which was launched last year, has struggled to gain a foothold in the British online gambling market and has recently undergone a "reset" with new leadership.
Tabcorp said they were "currently implementing a range of initiatives which are expected to significantly improve the performance of the business".