Wed, Apr 9, 6:05pm by Dominic Ciconte
The UK betting giant purchased one of the final independent Australian bookmakers for $22 million. The purchase is aimed at extending it’s reach in Australia following the company’s purchase of Bookmaker.com.au and its owner, Gaming Investments, for $22 million in 2013.
One industry insider working with a rival online bookmaker told AustralianGambling.com.au that the takeover had been coming for some time.
“It was pretty well known to us that the guys at Betstar were doing an excellent job of being patient and saying all the right things while waiting for the right offer to come along,” he said.
“The good news is that no one should lose their jobs, but I think it’s safe to say you won’t see much more of the Betstar brand survive in the long term.”
Under the deal, Betstar will keep its branding in the short term. The online bookmaker’s members will also benefit from many of Ladbroke’s services and features, including the instant withdrawal EFTPOS cards. The Victorian-based Betstar is estimated to earn an annual revenue between $250-$300 million and its member base is well over 40,000. Those numbers will see Ladbroke’s share in the Australian online bookmaker market increase by between 5-10 per cent.
Ladbrokes CEO Richard Glynn has been fighting to save his job in recent times as Ladbrokes continues to compete with William Hill and a number of incoming UK legislations aimed at directly influencing both online and bricks and morter bookmakers. After the announcement, Ladbrokes shares rose by 1.94 per cent in morning trading.
The owner and founder of Betstar, Alan Eskander, had famously said less than two years ago that he would not join the flock of Aussie bookmakers selling out to UK companies that also included William Hill and Paddy Power. Eskander said he had little interest “sitting on a beach, counting his millions for the next 30 years”.
Alan and his father Michael had started the business in 2007 and experienced incredible success in a short period of time.
There has been no announcement as yet on whether Eskander will remain with the company in the same fashion Tom Waterhouse did after his buy-out.
Like most things, the right offer is always enough to sway anyone’s thinking. That seems to be the case here.
The buy-out move paves the way for Beteasy, the new project from former Sportsbet founder Matt Tripp, to be one of the sole Australian-based players in the industry.
Tripp and his partners purchased BetEzy in February this year, re-branding it to Beteasy. This move will no doubt help his business market itself as a true Australian alternative to the UK incumbents. Beteasy is expected to launch in the coming weeks.
Ladbrokes commercials have been peppering our TV screens for months as the company attempts to push its way into the Australian market. Brace yourself, because our tip is you’re about to see a lot more of the company.
Since 2011, Australian-based companies Sportsbet.com.au, Sportingbet.com.au, Centrebet.com, Tomwaterhouse.com.au and now Betstar have all been taken over by UK betting firms.
What does this tell you? The Australian online gambling industry is doing well enough to attract the world’s heaviest hitters.
Good competition should mean only one thing – better deals and better services for the punters as they chase your dollar.
Always remember to keep an eye out for deals on this site and don’t be shy about opening numerous betting accounts to make sure you have the best value on each bet.
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