Australia’s Crown Resorts Ltd and online bookmaker BetEasy Pty Ltd are combining their sports book businesses in a joint venture, which they said would aim to compete with foreign competitors.
The transaction involves the combination of BetEasy’s sports book business with the sports book business of Crown’s wholly-owned subsidiary, Betfair Pty Ltd. Crown will control 67 percent of the joint venture and BetEasy will own the remaining third of the business, the companies said in a joint press release.
The joint venture will give Crown access to the rapid growth in fixed odds betting that is reshaping Australia’s online wagering market, while BetEasy will be able to grow by marketing directly to some of Crown’s biggest gamblers.
Crown, chaired by Australian billionaire James Packer, is an investor in Macau-based casino operator Melco Crown Entertainment Ltd.
BetEasy is described as Australia’s fastest growing bookmaker, with over 110,000 newly-registered customers to date in fiscal year 2015. The firm was recently announced as the exclusive wagering partner of the Australia Football League for the next five years.
As part of the venture, the BetEasy team, led by chief executive Matthew Tripp, will be responsible for the management of the joint venture.
The Australian Financial Review revealed in December that Crown had secured a trademark over the name Crown Bet, although the BetEasy brand will remain in place for now, according to local media.
“This exciting new venture will help build an Australian-owned business that can compete strongly with the largely foreign-owned competitors in our wagering industry,” Mr Packer said in the statement.
“By leveraging the combined assets of Crown and BetEasy, we will be able to provide significant benefits and opportunities for our existing and future customers,” he added. “We will continue to develop our technology to create a more enjoyable and cutting-edge wagering experience.”
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DS Kim, Jeremy An and Christine Wang
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