BUSINESS

Bet365 Australia cuts losses by two-thirds

TAGs: Australia, Bet365

bet365-australia-cuts-lossesThe Australian division of online betting operator Bet365 took a giant toward profitability in its most recent fiscal year.

In the 12 months ending March 27, Bet365 Australia reported a net loss of A$10.9m (US $8.3m). A loss is a loss, but it’s a sight better than the A$31m loss the company reported in fiscal 2015 and the A$41m loss the year before that. Since its 2012 launch, Betfair Australia’s accumulated losses amount to A$133m.

Bet365 Australia reported revenue of A$96.6m last year, only about one-fifth of the sum earned by Paddy Power Betfair’s Sportsbet brand. But Bet365’s number represents a 65% year-on-year improvement, while its betting turnover was up more than one-fifth to $2.5b.

In a statement to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, Bet365 noted that the figures suggested its product offering was “gaining momentum in the market,” supporting its view that profitability was more or less inevitable. The company said it remained “committed to maintaining the present level of operations to support that aim.”

The company did its best to raise its profile in the cutthroat Aussie betting market, boosting last year’s advertising budget by just under $2m to $17.3m, while increasing affiliate commissions by more than 50% to A$6.8m. Bet365 Australia’s levy contributions were up nearly A$4m to A$26.6m.

These promotional efforts haven’t always hit the mark. In June, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission fined Bet365 Australia A$2.75m over what the watchdog considered a misleading ‘free bet’ offer on its website.

The Australian Financial Review reported that Bet365 is believed to hold a 17% share of Australia’s online betting market. Sportsbet is in the lead with 26%, narrowly edging out Tabcorp’s TAB brand at 25%. Other operators are well back of the pace, including William Hill Australia (12%), Crownbet (9%), Tatts Group (4%), Tabcorp’s Luxbet brand (4%) and Ladbrokes Australia (2%).

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