Smoking bans burn Tabcorp

Tabcorp has recorded its first fall in full-year net profits, down 3.2 per cent to $252.6 million compared with the previous year's profit surge. Revenue fell 1.7 per cent. However, despite the profit fall, Tabcorp increased its final dividend to 34 cents a share, bringing the final payout to 67 cents a share.

CEO Mathew Slatter was cautious about the outlook for 2004. He warned investors to brace for more smoking bans at Tabcorp's operations in other states. Figures show Victorian gamblers are steering away from venues where they can't smoke. Smoking bans are likely to be introduced elsewhere in Australia which would affect Sydney's Star City casino and the soon-to-be acquired Jupiters casino operations in Queensland.