CrownBet acquired the operations of William Hill Australia (WH Australia) this past March after a bidding war for the struggling Aussie gambling operator. Following the acquisition, CrownBet indicated that it was planning a name change, initially settling on Sportingbet. However, this was axed by the courts after Paddy Power Betfair’s Australian arm, Sportsbet, challenged the move in court and won. Now that the dust has settled, CrownBet has found a new name and has dubbed the operations BetEasy.
CrownBet CEO Matt Tripp was more than a little disappointed following the court’s decision over the Sportingbet name, saying that he “had his heart on Sportingbet.” However, he pointed out that the new name would appeal to customers of both CrownBet and WH Australia.
The merger of WH Australia with CrownBet is set to produce the country’s third-largest sports betting operator. The first is Tabcorp, followed by Sportsbet. There has been some concern over too few companies having too much control over the market, but the deals haven’t seemed to suffer greatly over those concerns.
However, BetEasy is being introduced while the most attention is being given to the gambling industry in Australia. Operators are seeing tighter restrictions, especially with regards to advertising, as well as additional taxes being levied against them.
Tripp has been supportive of steps taken by legislators to protect consumers, but adds that operators are dealing with more challenges than ever. Indeed, a number of states and territories across the country have introduced, or will introduce, new taxes, such as a point of consumption tax. This tax will see operators paying anywhere from 8% to 15% more on their local revenues. Lawmakers argue that, if the operators can make more money from sports betting, so can the local governments.
Tripp believes that BetEasy will be in a great position to withstand the new taxes due to its large size following the WH Australia acquisition. He says that the company will also be actively promoting its assets, such as the exclusive rights for its customers to stream Tabcorp’s Sky Racing. Now that the company has the backing of The Stars Group as a majority owner, it will also begin to explore new acquisition possibilities in the country.