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News Corp has joined forces with a consortium led by bookmaking legend Matthew Tripp to launch a new sports betting operation in Australia.

The Murdoch-owned media giant is already involved with sports betting in the US via Fox Bet, although it is currently locked in a legal dispute with joint owner Flutter Entertainment.

The company has been exploring Australian betting launch options for more than a year and has now settled on a partnership with a group of investors associated with Tripp and Las Vegas-based online gambling investment fund Tekkorp Capital.

Tripp is arguably Australia’s most successful bookmaker, having built Sportsbet into the country’s second largest operator before launching BetEasy in 2014.

He then sold BetEasy to The Stars Group in 2019 for A$151m and it remains a leading brand in the wider Flutter Entertainment portfolio today.

Tekkorp on the other hand is an investment fund and strategic advisory founded by Matt Davey, who advised on this transaction and has pledged to invest significantly.

Industry veteran Robin Chhabra is the president of Tekkorp Capital. He was the founding CEO of Fox Bet and is also a former board director at BetEasy.

Chhabra said: “The Australian online sports betting market has been booming but is ripe for innovation and competition. This consortium has the mix of skills, experience and capital to become a significant player.”

Tekkorp Capital president Robin Chhabra: “The Australian online sports betting market has been booming but is ripe for innovation and competition.”

Australian technology supplier BetMakers is one company that Tekkorp Capital has invested in.

In fact, Davey is the company’s largest shareholder with a 13% stake, while Tripp made a $25m investment in BetMakers in February of last year and joined as a strategic adviser.

BetMakers has struck a deal to supply the technology to the new News Corp betting venture, which has a current working title of BetR, according to the Wall Street Journal.

BetMakers’ share price shot up 21% on the news it would be powering the venture, in a 10-year exclusive agreement that could bring the company more than $300m of revenue.

The Sydney Morning Herald expects former BetEasy chief executive Andrew Menz to be appointed as CEO of the soon-to-be-launched betting venture.

News Corp is expected to leverage its vast portfolio of media assets to promote the operator, which includes the Herald Sun, Daily Telegraph, and pay TV provider Foxtel.

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