UK-listed bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair is planning to inject an additional £10 million (US$13.53 million) into its Australian brand Sportsbet while its rivals are busy consolidating their businesses in the land down under.
The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Paddy Power is eager to “push hard” in the Australian market while its competitors are distracted with merging their businesses. The Irish-based company was referring to the AUD11 billion (US$8.8 billion) Tabcorp-Tatts merger and CrownBet’s acquisition of British bookmaker William Hill’s Australian assets.
“In Australia, we see an opportunity to compete more aggressively,” Paddy Power Chief Executive Peter Jackson said, according to the news outlet. “We want to push hard in that market. We have got a great business and we think there is a lot we can take advantage of whilst our competitors are distracted.”
Despite a revenue drop and possible introduction of new state-based digital wagering taxes, Jackson remains confident about the company’s prospects in Australia. Last week, Paddy Power announced that its Australian business was off to a bad start in the first three months of 2018, as adverse sports results pulled Sportsbet’s revenue down by 2 percent to £83 million ($112.3 million).
Paddy Power and other Australian-based bookmakers are bracing themselves for the imposition of new digital wagering taxes in the country’s two biggest betting states—Victoria and New South Wales.
At the moment, South Australia is the only Australian jurisdiction to implement a 15 percent online betting point-of-consumption tax. Western Australia’s new tax regime for bookies will be implemented in January 2019, while Queensland has also committed to impose its own point-of-consumption tax.
Depending on the price, Jackson told investors that the company is keen on pursuing “bolt-on” acquisitions in the land down under.
“I think we’ve got a fantastic business in Australia and if there are opportunities for us to do bolt-on M&As at sensible prices, we would do that,” Jackson said. “We’d be interested.”