A new era of retail sport and race betting began today with the opening of Australia’s first UBET store in Brisbane.
The historic opening saw bets placed at the New Farm store, marking the first significant milestone in the rebranding of TattsBet to UBET and the commencement of a multi-million dollar overhaul of over 1,200 outlets in the retail network.
The investment by parent company, Tatts Group, in the new brand and retail concept is targeting increased sales from the remodeled stores, to lift market share and to secure the future of the racing industry in Queensland, following the signing of a 30-year exclusive wagering license in 2014.
In 1962 TAB Queensland, then a government entity, commenced trading with 11 stores in Brisbane and the Gold Coast. TattsBet now operates in more than 1,200 locations across the country, generating sales in excess of $3.5 billion and employing – directly and indirectly - more than 3,000 people.
The new UBET lab store is a dramatic change from the old ‘TAB’ model, with cutting edge video wall technology, sound canopies to provide directional audio as well as sports stadium seating, bringing to life the concept billed as ‘your home arena’.
In an Australian first, the inclusion of UBET Live, a digital, in-play sports betting solution will allow punters to bet through a customized app on a tablet device.
Chief Operating Officer Barrie Fletton said this was the first significant milestone for the UBET brand ahead of the full production launch which will become active imminently. It will include a new website and mobile apps.
“The customer and innovation have been at the heart of this concept. This is designed to be a fully-immersive experience, second only to being at the game or at the track,” Mr Fletton said.
“This is a vastly improved experience for our existing customers. We expect to attract a younger, more sports-focused punter who might not have previously found the TAB to be appealing.
“We’re taking a very customer-centric approach to the project. This is what we call a ‘lab’ or test store. We’ll be gathering feedback from customers to understand what they like and if there are any modifications we need to make before we embark on our full roll out.”
Mr Fletton said the convergence of digital and retail was another important aspect of the new store.
“This is an unprecedented investment in our retail operations. While the online channel is growing, retail still represents 70 percent of our business and gives us a unique and truly multi-channel offering, compared to the online-only competitors.
The new concept allows us to better align those two worlds. UBET Live is without doubt a game-changer for wagering in Australia, allowing punters the flexibility and ease to bet live on an in-house digital platform. This is a huge advantage for us as we look to grow market share in a highly competitive sector,” he said.
Mr Fletton said the rollout of the concept across the 1,200 retail outlets, nationally, would take three to four years.
“It will be a phased approach and in line with our overall retail strategy to ensure we are where our customers want us,” he said.
Around 42 stand alone agencies and around 250 Pub and ClubTABs would become UBET stores over the next 12 months.
UBET will launch nationally in April.