An Australian court has instructed Entain and the Australian Hotels Association (AHA) to provide Tabcorp with documents related to a deal signed last year, enabling NSW pubs to advertise Entain’s Ladbrokes and Neds brands.
Tabcorp has an exclusive agreement to operate wagering terminals at NSW’s pubs and clubs under a state licence valid until 2033.
In November, the operator launched legal action to determine whether a marketing deal between Entain and the AHA undermined its exclusivity agreement and “raise a risk of contravening the Unlawful Gambling Act of 1998”.
Tabcorp claimed that it lacked sufficient information about the arrangement despite making reasonable enquiries, and requested further information from both companies to decide whether it would take broader legal action.
In a decision handed down today (15 March), the New South Wales Supreme Court ruled that Entain and the AHA must produce documents setting out details about the layout of planned Ladbrokes and Neds-branded lounges in NSW pubs.
Tabcorp: “Tabcorp will review the documents disclosed in order to assess whether or not to commence legal proceedings against Entain or AHA NSW, or both, in the Supreme Court.”
Moreover, the Court also determined that Entain and AHA NSW must hand over legal advice regarding the legality of the agreement between them and arrangements with NSW venues.
Tabcorp said it welcomed the court’s judgement.
“The Court accepted that whether the proposed arrangements will result in a breach of the Unlawful Gambling Act may well depend on the detail of those arrangements,” Tabcorp said.
“Tabcorp will review the documents disclosed in order to assess whether or not to commence legal proceedings against Entain or AHA NSW, or both, in the Supreme Court,” the company added.
Tabcorp had also requested access to other documents pertaining to commercial and financial assessments of the partnership, but the court rejected this request.
Australian giant Tabcorp has launched legal action against Entain and the New South Wales (NSW) division of the Australian Hotels Association over their alleged failure to disclose sufficient information about a recent advertising deal.
As first reported by the Sydney Morning Herald, Tabcorp recently initiated a civil dispute in the NSW Supreme Court.
Tabcorp flagged that an advertising deal between Entain the NSW Hotels Association could “raise a risk of contravening the Unlawful Gambling Act of 1998” and requested further information from both companies in order to decide whether it would take broader legal action.
Tabcorp has an exclusive agreement to operate wagering terminals at NSW’s pubs and clubs as it holds a state licence until 2033.
Last month, Entain signed a deal with the NSW Hotels Association that enables its pubs to advertise Entain’s online sports betting brands Ladbrokes and Neds on premises.
However, it does not allow Entain to operate its own betting kiosks, which would violate Tabcorp’s exclusive agreement.
Tabcorp has since claimed that both Entain and the NSW Hotels Association did not provide sufficient details on the advertising partnership for Tabcorp to decide whether to commence substantive proceedings, which could include seeking damages or an injunction against the two parties.
At the time of the deal between Entain and the NSW Hotels Association, the Sydney Morning Herald reported that a person involved in the agreement said Tabcorp were “getting what they deserved after behaving like monopolistic arseholes.”
Earlier this month, Entain dropped its Australian shirt deals as a response to growing consumer sentiment against gambling sponsorships in sports in the country.