Australia’s CrownBet Sells Majority Ownership To Canada’s Stars Group In C$150M Deal


The Stars Group announced that it has closed a deal and paid an aggregate amount of C$150 million (about US$117.7 million) to gain majority ownership of Australia’s CrownBet in February.
According to a press release from the Toronto-based company posted on February 27, Crown Resorts Ltd. sold a total of 62 percent shares of CrownBet Holdings Pty Ltd. to the Stars Group, paving the way for their entry to the regulated Australian sportsbook market.
The Stars Group Inc. CEO Rafi Ashkenazi explained that their decision to acquire the majority shares of CrownBet was based on its quick growth in the online sportsbooks industry in Australia; something that made the firm a viable asset for the Canadian gaming firm.
In the press release, Ashkenazi said that the company is thrilled to be able to join the regulated Australian sportsbook industry through CrownBet and lauded the company’s emergence as a big player in the market. He also complimented the company’s management team, as well as the programs and services they offer online gaming patrons.
Ashkenazi and the rest of the Stars Group stakeholders now own the majority of CrownBet’s stocks in an “all-cash transaction,” giving them the right to replace the company’s chief executive officer and the members of the board of directors, if they deem necessary.
However, the news release indicated that CrownBet’s CEO Matthew Tripp, who also founded the Australian corporate bookmaker, will continue to hold his post and start working with the Stars Group in running the Australia-based firm. As for the board of directors, the Stars Group reiterated its newly-acquired legal right to appoint its members although they didn’t reveal any names of potential appointees.
In a statement to the press, Tripp expressed his thoughts on the company’s acquisition and offered only positive words for the Stars Group. At the time, he said that they have been looking for an international business partner and found that the Toronto-listed firm was their best bet.
He also admitted that being accepted as part of the Stars Group is proof that CrownBet is performing well and might even be considered a top dog in the highly competitive market they are in.
Based on its official website, CrownBet offers daily promotions and odds for different kinds of sports and racing events. Aside from the webpage, clients can also access the company’s services through a mobile app for devices running on Android and iOS that can be downloaded from their site.
The Stars Group is known for its online casino, sports betting, and online poker website PokerStars and caters approximately 115 million customers around the world.
With the $5 billion-worth company behind it, CrownBet was able to overtake its top competitor, internet bookmaker Sportsbet, in procuring the Australian leg of William Hill with a C$300 million deal, based on a London stock exchange announcement made early in March.
Speaking to the press, CrownBet’s CEO Matthew Tripp didn’t try to hide his delight at their victory, especially with such a “stiff competition.”
Before the results came out, CrownBet and Sportsbet are considered the top two finalists for the acquisition of William Hill Australia after it was put up for sale by its London-based parent company earlier in 2018.
While there is still no confirmation, media outlets suspect that the procurement of CrownBet is a step towards stronger support for the legalization of online poker games in the country. This is especially after an Australian Senate committee banned it based on the Interactive Gambling Act.
Meanwhile, reports state that Crown Resorts has been offloading portions of its assets, which is said to be worth a hefty $700 million, since December. Aside from CrownBet, the company is also selling its land in Las Vegas, as well as a two-floor luxury Barangaroo project located in Sydney, Australia.