Entain and NSW Hotel Industry Sign Groundbreaking New Agreement

The AHA NSW and Entain Australia, part of one of the world’s largest sports betting groups, are joining forces to bring digital wagering competition to NSW hotels for the first time.

The long-term agreement will provide an opportunity for Entain Australia to promote its digital wagering brands – Ladbrokes and Neds – in the state’s pubs through a new advertising and sponsorship arrangement.

AHA NSW CEO John Whelan said this new agreement would bring real benefits to members.

“The reasons for this new partnership are simple,” Mr Whelan said.

“For decades now, many NSW hotels have operated PubTABs for Tabcorp at a significant loss - primarily due to high Sky Channel and EBT (betting terminal) fees. In country NSW it’s even worse, with the majority of country pubs currently running their PubTAB at a loss.

“Today’s partnership with a world leader in Entain will finally give NSW hotels competition and choice.

Entain Australia CEO Dean Shannon said the new partnership would offer licenced venues in NSW an exciting new way to promote a choice of Entain digital wagering offerings to their patrons, while at the same time not offending the current NSW retail wagering exclusivity arrangements.

“We applaud AHA NSW for their vision in agreeing to work with us to bring this partnership to life,” Mr Shannon said

“While there is still value in more traditional cash retail wagering, there is a highly engaged audience of punters who like to go down to their local for a bet with their mates, and how they do that has evolved.

“This partnership recognises that evolution and is about offering choice for the benefit of AHA NSW members and their patrons. There is no reason why traditional cash wagering can’t co-exist in a hotel, alongside an advertising sponsorship arrangement with Entain that promotes the digital offering of one of our leading brands.

“Entain recognises the opportunity for us to connect and communicate with the audience inside hotels is valuable and we intend to support the operators of those venues, just as we would any other advertising channel.

Mr Whelan said it was important to note AHA NSW was committed to supporting Tabcorp’s exclusive retail licence in NSW.

“Retail wagering in our venues is extremely important, with NSW pubs generating about half the current national PubTAB turnover,” he said.

“Tabcorp has a long-term exclusive retail licence in NSW and, of course, we will continue to support TAB retail in-venue.”

Mr Whelan said it was clear pub patrons had embraced non-retail phone wagering a long time ago.

“Our patrons are already exposed to advertising from corporate bookmakers on our pub TV screens, on the radio, in newspapers and on their phones.

“Increasingly people are choosing to bet on the races or the footy on their phones - not in the traditional retail environment. Today, most people betting on their phone in a NSW pub are placing a bet with Ladbrokes, Neds or another corporate bookmaker.”

Mr Whelan said NSW hotels have a strong history with the state’s racing industry and today’s announcement allows the local pub’s support of racing to grow.

“We remain strongly committed to the promotion of thoroughbred, harness and greyhound racing in NSW pubs – there’s no change there,” Mr Whelan said.

“There are currently around 600 NSW pubs without Sky Channel or TAB wagering. We expect this new partnership with Entain will actually make it more affordable for many of these venues to promote the three codes of racing for the first time.”

Mr Shannon said Entain was one of the largest supporters of the racing industry and is continually looking for opportunities to extend that support.

“Our business is a proud Australian-based organisation that employs more than 750 people across our offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne and Darwin. Over the next year, we expect to return more than $500m in taxes, fees and sponsorships to Government and the racing industry nationally.

“We have consistently demonstrated our commitment to going above and beyond in our support of racing through our long-term sponsorship of racing clubs in NSW, Victoria, Tasmania and the NT. Off the back of our investment in NSW hotels, you will see further investment from Entain directly into the racing ecosystem in NSW over the next 12 months.”

Mr Whelan also said he was pleased Entain was focussed on promoting the local pub punters club – part of the social fabric of hotels for more than 100 years.

“It’s great Entain are committed to promoting their Ladbrokes Mates Mode in our pubs – there will no longer be a need for the blackboard behind the bar to register the week’s selections,” he said.

“Mates Mode makes the Saturday pub punters club so much more social and a lot easier to participate in and administer.”

Key points of the AHA NSW and Entain agreement:

  • NSW pubs which decide to enter into sponsorship arrangements with Entain will display in-venue advertising for Ladbrokes or Neds promoting their digital wagering platforms
  • NSW hotels will continue to operate Tabcorp’s retail wagering in their venues
  • NSW pubs which enter into sponsorship arrangements with Entain will not:
    • install or operate any physical Entain wagering facilities
    • receive any commission from Entain for any bets placed
    • have staff operating Entain wagering terminals eg portable iPads or phones
    • have staff accepting bets from hotel patrons on behalf of Entain
    • advertise to the general public on the exterior of their hotel
    • do anything else which may offend Tabcorp’s retail exclusivity in NSW
  • Punters in pubs will do exactly as they do now – place cash bets via the TAB betting terminal or bet on their phone via the bookmaker of their choice.
  • There are currently more than 1,000 NSW hotels with a PubTAB

Media Contacts

AHA NSW Jason Bartlett, NSW and National Media/Communications Director M: +61 433 954 657 E: [email protected]
Entain Australia Karl deKroo, Executive Director – Stakeholder Engagement M: +61 417 690 535 E: [email protected]

About Entain
Entain plc (LSE: ENT) is a FTSE100 company and is one of the world’s largest sports- betting and gaming groups, operating both online and in the retail sector. The Group owns a comprehensive portfolio of established brands. Sports Brands include Ladbrokes, Neds, Betstar and Bookmaker in the Australian market.

The Group is tax resident in the UK with operations in a total of 31 regulated or regulating territories. Entain is a leader in ESG, a member of FTSE4Good, the DJSI and is AA rated by MSCI. The Group has set a science-based target, committing to be carbon net zero by 2035 and through the Entain Foundation supports a variety of initiatives, focusing on safer gambling, grassroots sport, diversity in technology and community projects. For more information see the Group’s website:www.entaingroup.com

AHA NSW is the state’s peak hospitality industry association representing 1800 members state-wide - ranging from the bush pub to suburban hotel, ‘mum and dad’ operators to major CBD entertainment complexes and 4 and 5-star accommodation hotels. The industry directly employs 70,000 people, spends $20million on training annually, supports 75,000 live acts a year and contributes $25m to 19,000 sporting and charitable groups each year – with a further $20m ‘in kind’ assistance. AHA NSW members serve up 2.5m meals a week to patrons and provide about 14,000 accommodation beds in regional NSW.