Former Tabcorp boss resigns from ASX top job

Elmer Funke Kupper, formerly head of Tabcorp, has stepped down from his role as chief executive and managing director of the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX), days after police in the country began an investigation into allegations of bribery.

Funke Kupper headed up Australian gambling operator Tabcorp from 2007 until 2011, when he left to join ASX and has headed up the organisation ever since.

However, last week it emerged that Tabcorp is under investigation in regards to a payment relating to a business opportunity in Cambodia in 2009.

Reports in Australia suggest a payment of Aus$200,000 (€135,600/US$151,000) was made to the family of Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen around the time Tabcorp was weighing up launching an online betting business in the country.

Australian and US laws make it illegal to give any benefit to a foreign official or their representative in order to gain an advantage in business.

In response, Funke Kupper has resigned from his role with the ASX and has also requested a leave of absence from the Tabcorp board of directors, on which he still serves, whilst the bribery investigation is conducted.

“I have done this [resigned] in the interests of good corporate governance and the interests of strict process; I have taken this step so that the company is able to build its future,” Funke Kupper said according to the Independent newspaper.

“This is highly unusual. My name has not been mentioned. I have not been told I am being investigated. My job is to take control of the situation.”

Funke Kupper’s resignation comes after Tabcorp last week admitted that it had considered moving into the Cambodian market, but opted against it.

The company has said that it will “fully co-operate” with the investigation.

Phay Siphan, spokesperson for the Council of Ministers within the Cambodian government, dismissed the allegations as “baseless”.

He added: “The PM has no habit of receiving cash from anywhere or anyone.”

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