Interview with Dr Charles Livingstone, Monash University

Press/Media: Expert Comment

Period17 Nov 2017

Media coverage


Media coverage

  • TitleInterview with Dr Charles Livingstone, Monash University
    Degree of recognitionNational
    Media name/outletABC Radio Melbourne, Sydney, Reg NSW, Adelaide, Brisbane, Reg Vic, Reg WA, Hobart, PerthReg Qld
    Media typeRadio
    Duration/Length/Size3 mins 54 secs
    DescriptionInterview with Dr Charles Livingstone, Monash University. The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission says the proposed merger between Tabcorp and Tatts Group has been approved using a different test. Livingstone was a member of the Australian Government's Ministerial Expert Advisory Group on Gambling in 2010. Livingstone says the problem is this is about a concentration of power in a rapidly-consolidating industry in the last few years. He notes they have seen the emergence in the large number of very big offshore operators like William Hill and Ladbrokes. He says the reason behind the merger is for them to be able to compete continuously against these newly-emerging competitors. He thinks the regulator is particularly concerned that the concentration of power will reduce competition and provide much less value for those people who like to punt. CrownBet argued the deal was bad for punters and against the public interest. Livingstone believes emerging big companies will be much harder to regulate. He recalls Tabcorp being fined $45m earlier this year for failing to properly apply the anti-money laundering and anti-terrorism laws. He adds these big corporations are extremely difficult to regulate and they are very difficult for politicians to control. Livingstone says most of the online bookies in Australia had been licenced out of the NT, which is a low regulatory restriction, and the Australian Government is trying to introduce some more consumer protection systems in the area, but these companies are very powerful. He notes all gambling companies are big political donors and have considerable influence with politicians. The Australian Competition Tribunal says the $11b merger will result in substantial public benefits. Livingstone says the ACCC referred this matter when the tribunal first decided to refer it to the Federal Court and to see if they will continue to oppose it by next week.
    Producer/AuthorKirsten Aiken
    PersonsCharles Livingstone