Matthew Tripp is selling out his stake in UK-listed DJI Holdings as he prepares his own CrownBet to cash in on China’s online gambling market.
The CrownBet boss confirmed to Fairfax Media that the Australian online betting operator “would look at any wagering licenses up for grabs should China’s wagering market be liberalized in the future.”
Tripp said he is the middle of selling out his holding in DJI Holdings, which is also targeting China’s $70 billion lotteries market, as part of his plan “to streamline a number of his personal investments.”
Experts forecast a potential bidding round in China—home to one of the world’s largest online gambling markets—where internationally-licensed operators can offer a selection of betting services, according to the Sydney Morning Herald report.
Listed in the London Stock Exchange, DJI Holdings received an approval from the Chinese government last year to test a sports lottery app in the province of Shandong. The app was sold via mobile phones in Qingdao City, which has a population of 90 million and contributes to almost 10 percent of total sports lottery in the country.
The company followed it up several months later with the launch its first Chinese Ministry of Finance-approved mobile lottery app—a product of DJI Holding’s joint venture with Chinese sports and welfare lottery products company Qingdao Baifa Network Science Technology Service Co. Limited.
Beijing temporarily shut down online lottery operations in the country in March 2015 after government audits turned up widespread evidence of fraud by officials at provincial lottery administration centers. Chinese media, however, recently reported that the government is on the verge of restarting its online lottery operations.
Tripp revealed in March that CrownBet, which he established in a joint venture with James Packer’s Crown Resorts from the remnants of the BetEzy brand, has already turned the corner towards profitability last year, less than two years after it started operations.