Crownbet’s Matthew Tripp says site will turn a profit in 2016

matthew-tripp-crownbet-profitsCrownbet, the upstart Australian online betting site formerly known as BetEzy/BetEasy, turned the corner toward profitability late last year, according to its CEO and founder Matthew Tripp (pictured).

The Northern Territory-licensed Crownbet is 62% owned by Australian casino operator Crown Resorts, which reported a A$9.2m loss for its online operations in the six months ending Dec. 31. But this includes Betfair Australasia as well as the new DGN Games social gaming acquisition and Crown doesn’t break out individual numbers for its digital components.

In an interview with the Australian Financial Review this week, Tripp claimed Crownbet “broke even on a monthly basis” in November and managed to sustain this breakeven pace in the three months that followed. Tripp now expects the site to post a profit through the rest of 2016, which is “ahead of where we thought we would be” when the site launched in September 2014.

Tripp credited the performance in part to a decision to rein in television advertising spending. However, Tripp is looking at plowing some of those savings into National Rugby League and soccer sponsorships – to go along with its AFL league sponsorship – in order to boost the company’s profile beyond its native Victoria.

The AFR suggested Crownbet was performing in line with William Hill Australia, which generated revenue of A$198m on turnover of $2b in 2015. Tripp claimed Crownbet’s active customer ranks had risen 220% over the past year to around 150k while Crownbet’s payroll more than doubled to around 300 in 2015.

Tripp said Crownbet was poised and ready to enter the world of online in-play wagering should the government’s review of the Interactive Gambling Act recommend lifting the longstanding online in-play prohibition.

Tripp said he’s been “ready for [online in-play] for a couple of years” and was confident that Crownbet’s offering could compete with that of other Aussie operators. But unlike those other operators, Crownbet was waiting for the official government go-ahead before launching its product.

Tripp also predicted that the Aussie online wagering market was headed for further consolidation, suggesting that the current market of five operators could shrink to “maybe three” within five years. Typically, Tripp believes Crownbet “will be well placed to survive that.”