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CrownBet to be rebranded Sportingbet as old Australian favorite returns

Thursday, 14 June 2018 06:16
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Australian online sportsbook CrownBet is set to bring the Sportingbet brand back to life after filing an application to reserve the name with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, according to local media reports.

Sportingbet was one of the country’s leading online sportsbooks before being shut down in 2013 following its acquisition by William Hill, however the name looks certain to be rejuvenated by CrownBet CEO Matthew Tripp, whose father Alan once owned the Sportingbet brand. Matthew Tripp subsequently launched the similarly named Sportsbet in 2005 before selling the company to Irish betting giant Paddy Power in 2011.

The decision to replace the CrownBet name with Sportingbet comes after Canadian online poker giant The Stars Group Inc acquired a majority 62% stake in CrownBet Holdings Pty Limited in February. It later increased its stake to 80% in April while also acquiring William Hill Australia Holdings Pty Ltd.

It was rumored at the time that The Stars Group would look to replace the CrownBet name. It has also been suggested that the acquisition of CrownBet and William Hill could be part of The Stars Group’s wider strategy to campaign for online poker to be legalized and regulated in Australia after its flagship online poker brand PokerStars was forced to withdraw from the market last September.

Speaking at the time of the CrownBet acquisition, The Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said, “We are excited to enter the regulated Australian sportsbook market with CrownBet.

“CrownBet has become one of the fastest growing online sportsbooks in Australia through its strong management team, proprietary technology, mobile app, unique partnerships and market-leading loyalty program.”

CrownBet, which launched in 2014, is one of Australia's most prominent online sportsbooks with unaudited annual revenues growing from around AU$76.5 million in 2015 to AU$204 million in 2017.

The consolidation of Australian’s online sports betting landscape coincides with the widespread introduction of a point of consumption tax by Australian states, with New South Wales announcing this week it would introduce a 10% tax effective 1 January 2019.  

NSW follows the lead of South Australia, which introduced a 15% point of consumption tax in 2017. Queensland, Western Australia and the ACT have all declared plans for a 15% tax while Victoria is set to introduce an 8% tax from next year.

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