CrownBet has moved into third position behind Tabcorp and Sportsbet as Australia’s biggest wagering operator with the $300 million acquisition of William Hill Australia.
Crownbet signed the William Hill deal last night in a tight contest to pick up the international wagering giant. Rival internet bookmaker Sportsbet was the other contender to pick up the Tom Waterhouse-led operation of William Hill Australia after the London-listed parent company put the business up for sale earlier this year.
CrownBet’s ownership structure changed significantly last week with Canada’s The Stars Group becoming the new majority owner, taking over from Crown Resorts.
Crownbet was in a good position to secure William Hill Australia with the support of the Stars Group which owns two of the world’s largest poker sites, PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker and runs poker games and tournaments for 115 million customers around the world.
And CrownBet could increase its market share even more with Western Australia treasurer Ben Wyatt saying he is ready for talks around the potential sale of his state’s wagering arm WA Bet.
CrownBet might have an advantage if that deal goes ahead as William Hill is already contracted as WA TAB’s exclusive fixed odds betting partner.