CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
POWER SCORE: 744
POSITION LAST YEAR: Nil
CLAIMS TO FAME
- Former marketing executive at UK betting giant Paddy Power
- Has positioned Sportsbet as clear No 1 ahead of Tabcorp in Australia’s competitive sports betting landscape
IT’S BEEN A PRODUCTIVE FEW YEARS for Barni Evans and Sportsbet, which has emerged from the highly competitive pack of Australian corporate bookmakers to become the country’s clear No 1. In fact, so dramatic has Sportsbet’s rise been in recent times that it has even supplanted Tabcorp, for so many years a dominant market leader, in top spot.
The company’s rise has been largely driven by the 2020 merger of Flutter Entertainment, owner of the Sportsbet brand, and The Stars Group, owner of BetEasy, which saw the two sportsbooks combined into one with the clear goal of closing the Tabcorp gap.
It has certainly paid dividends. From revenue of US$618 million in 2019, Sportsbet reported a better than 100% increase in 2020 to US$1.48 billion, rising again to US$811 million in the first six months of 2021 alone. Market share, estimated at a combined 26% between Sportsbet and BetEasy when last year’s merger was completed, has grown to 47%, bringing Tabcorp back from more than 50% to just 39%, according to Credit Suisse.
Overseeing it all has been Evans, who moved to Australia in 2011 after Sportsbet was acquired by UK gaming giant Paddy Power. Originally Sportsbet’s Marketing Director, he was appointed Chief Commercial Officer in October 2016 and CEO in March 2018.
Evans brings vast experience to the Australian sports betting scene, having worked as a graduate strategic planner with the UK arm of global media giant News Corp, rising through the ranks to become online marketing director and then spending a decade with Paddy Power as Director of Marketing.
For the full list of 2021 Asian Gaming Power 50 winners, click here.