Betfair and BetEasy form sports book joint venture
The James Packer owned Crown Resorts have announced that they have purchased 67% of new Australian bookmaker BetEasy. Crown, which already owns the Australian arm of exchange provider Betfair, will merge the sports book operations of Betfair with BetEasy. The change will take effect from January 6 2015.
The effect of the joint venture
All of Betfair’s sports book operations will now be made available under the BetEasy brand. Betfair will purely focus on it’s exchange business which will remain separate from BetEasy. Existing Betfair punters will be given a new account with BetEasy for all fixed odds betting markets.
The move has more of an impact on Betfair customers. Whilst the exchange will continue to operate under the Betfair Australia brand, the sports book operations will switch to BetEasy. Betfair members will be able to log into a new BetEasy account using their existing Betfair username and password. Any outstanding bets will be transferred to the new entity.
A strategic move from Crown
The investment in BetEasy comes on top of the recent purchase of the remaining 50% share of Australia’s Betfair operations. As part of the move, BetEasy will gain access to Crown’s database of some 2 million customers. It also gives Crown a larger share of the sports book market and an investment in a fast growing brand.
BetEasy on the way up
The investment in BetEasy is a coup for the newly formed bookie. It only established operations half-way through 2014 and has already attracted 110,000 new customers. Matthew Tripp will remain in charge of the BetEasy brand. As pointed out by James Packer, the venture will create “an Australian-owned business that can compete strongly with the largely foreign-owned competitors in our wagering industry”.
Recently, Tripp managed to outbid the other major Australian betting agencies in securing the rights to become the AFL’s official wagering partner for the next 5 years. The deal is believed to be worth close to $50 million.