Crown Resorts has sold its 62 percent stake in online bookmaker CrownBet to founder and CrownBet Chief Executive Matthew Tripp in a deal worth $150 million.
Crown expects the deal to be completed by February 2018, subject to Mr Tripp securing finance. The deal reportedly also involves Mr Tripp repaying loans made by Crown to CrownBet.
The sale follows on from the company’s recent string of sales, allowing it to focus on a number of its core assets such as its construction of the $1.5bn Barangaroo Crown Sydney Hotel Resort, along with other casino properties in Melbourne and Perth.
Earlier in the year, Crown sold its interests in joint-venture casinos in Macau and disposed of a vacant lot in Las Vegas where it had originally planned to build a new casino development.
The sale of CrownBet comes just three years after James Packer signed a deal with Tripp which gave Packer control over Tripp’s online betting platform BetEasy (which became CrownBet).
There has been speculation that CrownBet could look to beef up its operations to compete in the ultra-competitive betting market. Mr Tripp has previously discussed a merger with both William Hill and Paddy Power.
What affects the move may have on the digital wagering partnership CrownBet entered into with ClubsNSW is unknown. The 10-year deal involves considerable capital expenditure from CrownBet including paying for Wi-Fi and technology upgrades to almost 1140 clubs, and the building of a special app for club patrons that will allow punters to gamble on the CrownBet app on their phones or tablets and in competition with TAB outlets in the same venues.
Image: ClubsNSW CEO Anthony Ball and CrownBet’s Matthrew Tripp announcing the partnership last year.
Sources: af.com.au, CalvynAyre, punters.com