Betfred closes Aussie operations; BetEasy scores $50m AFL sponsorship

TAGs: AFL, Australia, Australian Football League, beteasy, Betfred, matthew tripp

betfred-australia-beteasy-aflUK betting operator Betfred has pulled the plug on its Australian-facing operations after failing to gain traction in the extremely competitive market. A notice on the company’s site announced that the Aussie operation would cease trading as of Dec. 1 and account balances would be returned to the card in which the account was registered.

Betfred launched its GTECH-powered Aussie mobile wagering site in May in order to capitalize on the 2014 FIFA World Cup betting bonanza. But new Betfred CEO John Haddock, who assumed the role in July, told eGaming Review that a review of the business had concluded that the Aussie market was “overpopulated” and that the company’s resources would be better spent elsewhere. Betfred had hired former Centrebet marketing man Luke Brill to head its Aussie division.

Matthew Tripp’s BetEasy has inked a deal to become the Australian Football League’s official betting partner for the next five years. BetEasy beat out incumbent Tabcorp as well as William Hill Australia and Sportsbet – Tripp founded the latter before selling to Irish betting operator Paddy Power in 2011 – to win the nod. The victory didn’t come cheap, however, as BetEasy will pay nearly $10m annually for the duration of the contract, which commences with the start of the 2015 AFL season.

The deal offers BetEasy prime exposure via stadium signage and a presence on the AFL website and other digital platforms. The deal doesn’t include live streaming of AFL matches on BetEasy’s website, an option that Tabcorp had exercised during the 2014 season. BetEasy also gets first dibs at negotiating sponsorships with AFL broadcasters Seven West Media and Foxtel, with the Seven deal reportedly of primary interest. Tripp said BetEasy was “actively looking for other opportunities” in the sponsorship game.

Tripp told the Sydney Morning Herald that the deal “shows we’re very serious and we’re here to stay.’ Tripp acquired the former Betezy operation in March for $10m and has sought to win the hearts and minds of Aussie punters by positioning itself as a site that will take wagers others bookies won’t.

Tripp, who has previously expressed pride in being the “last Australian operator on the shelf” in a sea of internationally owned competitors, touted the fact that he’d “beat out some of the big European wagering firms” for the AFL deal. Tripp noted that all BetEasy’s profits would remain in the country, “so I hope punters will come to us for that reason.”


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