Crown Resorts sells majority stake in betting business

Australia-listed Crown Resorts has agreed to sell its majority ownership in its homegrown sports betting arm, Crownbet, for an aggregate $117.7 million.

CrownBet, launched in 2014 in Australia, is one of Australia’s fastest growing online sportsbooks with unaudited annual revenues growing from approximately A$76.5 million (US$59.6 million) in 2015 to approximately A$204.0 million in 2017. Unaudited EBITDA turned positive for the first time in 2017 at approximately A$7.9 million for the year.

The buyer is Canadian-based online gambling giant, The Stars Group, which on Tuesday acquired a 62 percent equity interest in CrownBet.

“We are excited to enter the regulated Australian sportsbook market with CrownBet,” said Rafi Ashkenazi, chief executive officer of The Stars Group. “CrownBet has become one of the fastest growing online sportsbooks in Australia through its strong management team, proprietary technology, mobile app, unique partnerships and market-leading loyalty program.”

CrownBet’s chief executive officer, Matthew Tripp will remain in his position to continue to operate the business in Australia.

Under the transaction agreements, The Stars Group is also entitled to appoint a majority of the directors on the board of directors of CrownBet.