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'It hurt': TAB's Mark Stafford reveals heartbreaking redundancy

26th May, 08:42

Mark Stafford, the long-time face of the TAB, has revealed that he was recently made redundant by the sports betting agency.

The news comes after the TAB confirmed it will cut 230 jobs due to the Covid-19 downturn, which has seen revenue plummet with most live sports and racing cancelled over the last few months.

Stafford, who was the TAB's media manager and had also worked with Sky TV, released a video on Twitter announcing that he was made redundant.

"I found out a couple of weeks ago but it sort of starting to come out now that more and more of us are going," he said. "So I just thought I'd let people know because I'm getting phone calls and messages asking so I'm letting everyone know all at once.

"No real feelings to the TAB. They're doing what they've got to do. It hurt a bit at the time. I felt pretty bloody awful to be honest, having worked there over 20 years.

"C'est la vie. Things will carry on. But a massive thank you to the TAB. I've had a great stretch there; great opportunities to develop myself and my career.

"And also shout out to the people at Sky TV as well. I've just loved the time I've had with you and they're fantastic people as well and I really miss working with them."

The TAB reportedly informed staff of job losses yesterday, having consulted on removing 220 jobs over the last two weeks (about 30 per cent of its workforce).

It expected to save $11 million a year in addition to other cost-saving plans, including the cancellation of Trackside Radio programming, fewer in-person betting facilities at races, trimming its TV output and closing four retail stores.

The betting company's parent entity the Racing Industry Transition Agency previously said revenue was down almost 50 per cent in April.

"Despite far reaching efforts to reduce costs across the TAB, including salary reductions, staff taking leave and reducing all non-essential expenses, it simply was not enough to offset the blow Covid-19 has had, and will have, on our industry," executive chair Dean McKenzie said.

"The implication of the pandemic extends beyond the immediate impact to the TAB, with racing and sport looking very unpredictable over the next year. The reality is the TAB will need to be a leaner, more efficient business with fewer roles, and focused on driving our core wagering and gaming business."