Tabcorp fined $370,000 by VGCCC, appoints controversial new CEO

June 18, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Tabcorp has announced the appointment of Gillon McLachlan, former CEO of the AFL, as its new Managing Director and CEO. The news follows on from the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) fining the company $370,417 last Thursday for various charges including failing to prevent a minor from gambling.  

Gillon McLachlan’s appointment, first announced to the ASX yesterday, has been questioned by various political and industry stakeholders due to the perception that it could be narrowing the gap between gambling and sports. This includes independent senator David Pocock telling ABC Radio National that, “there’s an opportunity for him to use his insider knowledge when it comes to the inner workings of one of Australia’s biggest sporting codes for the benefit of the gambling industry.

“At a time where we need to break the nexus between sport and gambling, not bringing the two closer together,” he said.

In Tabcorp’s announcement, McLachlan, who will begin his new role at Tabcorp eight months after finishing at the AFL, said “there are enormous opportunities ahead and I’m looking forward to driving the sport category among other things. Tabcorp is part way through its transformation journey and I’m looking forward to working with the leadership team to accelerate and deliver on the growth opportunities.”

Yesterday’s announcement also follows on from the VGCCC fining Tabcorp $370,417 for breaches that “undermine the integrity and safety of the industry.

“The breaches committed by Tabcorp are incredibly serious, reflecting a fundamental failure to protect minors from the risks associated with gambling, as well as a lack of vigilance on their part,” added Annette Kimmitt AM, CEO of the VGCCC. 

The fine was determined after Tabcorp plead guilty to 43 charges at the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court. These included allowing a minor to gamble across multiple venues in Victoria and for failing to properly supervise its Electronic Betting Terminals. The charge was issued against Tabcorp in May 2023 when a 17 year old was found to have gambled at 12 separate venues over the course of 1.5 years.

“It is their duty to rigorously check IDs and supervise gambling activities to ensure minors are not able to access these services,” said Kimmitt.

“It is imperative that all stakeholders in the gambling industry understand the gravity of this issue and take their responsibilities seriously to prevent such harm.”  

Gillon McLachlan will start his new role on 5 August. McLachlan is replacing previous CEO Adam Rytenskild who stepped down in March following a board investigation into allegations of inappropriate and offensive language. 

Tabcorp’s Chairman Bruce Akhurst said that McLachlan “is recognised as one of Australia’s leading CEOs and securing Gill is a great vote of confidence for Tabcorp’s future. We’ve laid strong foundations and Gill brings a growth mindset and the capability to capitalise on the opportunities ahead of us.

“In the two years since demerger we have significantly improved our customer offering and delivered key structural reforms in Queensland and Victoria. The transformation of Tabcorp is not complete and I am delighted that Gill is joining us to continue to drive change and growth.’’ 

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