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Australian online sports betting operator CrownBet has bought William Hill’s Australian business and is planning to rebrand itself as Sportingbet after buying. It has to be kept in mind that The Stars Group, the Canadian parent company of online poker room PokerStars that purchased British operator Sky Betting & Gaming earlier this year, had acquired CrownBet.
First news about the future rebranding of the betting company emerged in April, when The Stars Group’s CEO, Rafi Ashkenazi, said that CrownBet Chief Matt Tripp intended to change the name of the combined CrownBet/William Hill Australia entity. According to The Stars Group estimates, the newly merged business could create gross cost synergies of about A$50 million by 2020.
British bookmaker William Hill entered the Australian gambling market in 2013 when it acquired Sportingbet’s local business, which also included the Centrebet and Tom Waterhouse brands, for £459.4 million. Early in 2018, William Hill announced that it was reviewing its Australian operations and it was considering a sale.
The sale was confirmed late in February, when CrownBet was selected as the winning bidder. Paddy Power, bet365, and Ladbrokes, too, bid for William Hill’s Australian entity. It was announced at about the same time that Canada’s The Stars Group was buying a 62 per cent stake in CrownBet from Australian casino operator Crown Resorts. It was understood several weeks later that the Canadian gambling group has increased its interest in CrownBet to 80 per cent.
While CrownBet has not confirmed yet that it would be rebranded as Sportingbet, it is believed that that name would be chosen due to Mr. Tripp’s previous involvement with the brand. The executive and his family were actually the founders of the sports betting business.
He has recently told The Australian that his father was delighted and extremely happy that the Sportingbet business was back in the family.
CrownBet’s acquisition of William Hill’s Australian business created the nation’s third-largest online sports betting operator, with Tabcorp, which recently merged its operations with rival Tatts in an A$11 billion deal, and Paddy Power’s Sportsbet being the two largest.
It is interesting to note that Sportsbet was once owned namely by Mr. Tripp and the success of the brand could, to a great extent, be attributed to his stewardship. He bought it in 2005 for A$250,000 to sell it nearly six years later to Paddy Power for the amount of A$338 million. As mentioned above, Sportsbet has meanwhile grown into one of the top operators into the highly competitive Australian sports betting field.
As mentioned, CrownBet is yet to comment on the planned rebranding of its business. The company told The Australian that it would disclose further details in due course but only after it had notified its customers about all future changes related to the major gambling operator, its branding, and its operations.
Source: European Gaming Industry News