Friday morning’s Australian media reports that William Hill and Crown Resorts are exploring a possible partnership in CrownBet (see previous report) has been followed by a Reuters alert that Paddy Power Betfair is also interested in expanding further in Australia and has held talks with Crown Resorts.
Reuters cited two anonymous sources close to the Paddy Power-Crown talks.
In addition to its 62 percent majority holding in CrownBet, Crown Resorts also wholly-owns Betfair Australasia and 70 percent of DGN Games, an online social gaming business based in Austin, Texas.
CrownBet’s ambition is to be the “dominant wagering operator in the Australian landscape by 2020”, but is currently only licensed in Australia’s Northern Territory.
A group of investors headed by CrownBet’s founder and current Chief Executive Matt Tripp owns the other part of the business not owned by Crown Resorts.
In the last financial report released by Crown Resorts, the company said its overall wagering and online social gaming unit that contains CrownBet and the other investments in the sector generated annual EBITDA of A$14.8 million, turning from a A$5.4 million loss the year before.
CrownBet is building its business by leveraging its relationship with its portfolio of integrated resorts, as well as partnering the likes of the AFL, ClubsNSW, Draftstars and racing.com. The company is additionally focused on developing proprietary technology.
William Hill’s Australian interests embrace Centrebet and Sportingbet, along with tomwaterhouse.com bookmaking. The Australian division is in the process of rebranding to William Hill Australia and has almost 250,000 registered active players (see previous reports).
Aussie operations contribute around 7 percent of William Hill overall revenues.
Paddy Power Betfair has thus far not commented on the Reuters report that it has also held talks with Crown regarding CrownBet.