Stars Group Acquires $118 Million Stake in CrownBet
The Stars Group: A Canadian online gaming and gambling company that is traded on Nasdaq and the Toronto Stock Exchange. The group owns and operates online poker giants such as PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, that run poker games and tournaments for over 100 million customers worldwide.
CrownBet: Launched in 2014 in Australia, this became Australia's fastest growing online sportsbook with annual revenues growing from approximately AUD 76.5 million in 2015 to approximately AUD 204 million in 2017. It was formerly owned by Crown Resorts until it announced its intention to sell 62% of its stake last year.
In a recent development, The Stars Group announced that they had got into a partnership with other shareholders of CrownBet, including a consortium led by CrownBet CEO Matthew Tripp, who will remain in his position as CEO after the all-cash purchase of $117.7 million is completed.
“We are excited to enter the regulated Australian sportsbook market with CrownBet. 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,” said Rafi Ashkenazi, CEO of The Stars Group.
The Stars Group acquired 62% interest in CrownBet from Crown Resorts Limited and they are also entitled to appoint a majority of the directors on the board of directors of CrownBet. The acquisition has been made with the intention of pushing for online poker games to be legalized in Australia.
Online poker games were a massive market in Australia, until it was banned last year under changes to the Interactive Gambling Act. CrownBet is set to continue running under its CEO Matthew Tripp, with the only change so far being The Stars Group replacing Crown as the majority shareholder in the gambling company.
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