Gillon McLachlan to become the new CEO of Tabcorp

Gillon McLachlan to become the new CEO of Tabcorp

Gillon McLachlan, the former long-serving AFL chief executive, has been appointed as the new CEO of the listed betting company Tabcorp.

Promoted as a move that will accelerate growth due to McLachlan’s extensive experience in wagering and sports, his appointment comes amid increasing scrutiny from health professionals, players, gambling addicts, and fans who seek to break the strong link between professional sports and gambling.

McLachlan is expected to assume the role of Tabcorp’s chief executive in early August, pending necessary approvals. He will receive an annual salary of $1.5 million, with various bonuses potentially leading to earnings several times his base wage, according to details disclosed on the ASX.

Tabcorp’s executive chairman, Bruce Akhurst said:

Gill has a deep understanding of sport, racing, and wagering, combined with significant commercial acumen, which was highlighted by the substantial growth of AFL revenues under his leadership.

McLachlan stepped down as the AFL’s chief executive last year after a decade in the role. He was praised for guiding the league through the logistical and financial challenges of the pandemic and for championing the growth of the women’s game.

However, his tenure also coincided with a community push against gambling advertisements and promotions, an issue yet to be decisively resolved by the federal government.

The 51-year-old will join an Australian wagering company facing public pressure from anti-gambling campaigners and commercial pressure from international bookmakers popular with younger customers who use mobile betting apps.

In a statement, McLachlan said the challenge of growing the business was appealing:

It’s about creating entertainment for our customers in a safe way and providing a unique omni-channel entertainment offering across digital, retail, and the media business. There are enormous opportunities ahead, and I’m looking forward to driving the sport category among other things.

McLachlan will act in an observer capacity before his anticipated appointment on 5 August. The former Tabcorp chief executive, Adam Rytenskild, resigned in March.