In Australia, the proposed $8.3 billion merger of bookmaker Tatts Group Limited with sportsbetting giant Tabcorp Holdings Limited has reportedly received another large boost after being approved by the Supreme Court of Victoria.

According to a Wednesday report from SBC News, orders confirming the Supreme Court of Victoria’s official consent have been filed with The Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the deal initially agreed in October of 2016 is now due to be completed by December 22.

The broadcaster reported that the combined entity is set to become the second largest gaming firm in Australia offering a wide range of sportsbetting and lottery services although it is anticipated that it may take up to a further two years before full amalgamation is complete.

In an advisory note to shareholders published by the Special Broadcasting Service, Paula Dwyer, Chairman for Melbourne-based Tabcorp Holdings Limited, reportedly stated that the merger would create a ‘world-class diversified gambling entertainment group’ that is able to offer ‘a large national footprint and a diverse product offering’.

“The combination brings together two highly complementary businesses and a strong pool of talent from within each organization, ensuring that the combined group is well positioned to invest, innovate and compete in a rapidly evolving operating environment,” reportedly read the note from Dwyer. “The combination is expected to create significant value for Tabcorp [Holdings Limited] shareholders and benefits for our customers, racing industry, agencies, licensed venues, newsagents and federal, state and territory governments.”

The Special Broadcasting Service reported that the merger has involved years of negotiations and was initially held up by opposition from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and rival operator CrownBet. But, the former dropped its antagonism last month while the latter subsequently consented after agreeing a deal that will see it gain access to live horseracing streams broadcast by Tabcorp Holdings Limited’s Sky Racing television channel.

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