Stars Group Acquires Majority Shares in CrownBet

As much as 62% of shares in CrownBet Holdings Pty Limited was acquired by The Stars Group. The aggregated amount for the acquisition was a little more than $117.5 million. The Stars Group partnered with shareholders of CrownBet including the management team and the Chief Executive Officer, Matthew Tripp to finalize the completion of the purchase agreement.

“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, Chief Executive Officer of The Stars Group.

In 2014, CrownBet launched its online sports betting sector in Australia. Since the launch it’s grown passed expectations with generating $204 million last year. For the first full year of the online sports betting operations revenues generated was only $76.5 million. EBITDA expressed positive results for the first time last year with $7.9 million for the full year.

Details of the acquisition entitles the Stars Group to appoint directors on the board of directors of CrownBet. It was also reported that the Northern Territory Racing Commission approved the transaction with standard conditions regarding the competition of the acquisition.

The Stars Group is a leading provider of technology-based products and services in the global gaming and interactive entertainment industries. Through its Stars Interactive Group division, The Stars Group ultimately owns gaming and related consumer businesses and brands, including PokerStars, PokerStars Casino, BetStars, Full Tilt, and the PokerStars Players No Limit Hold’em Championship, European Poker Tour, PokerStars Caribbean Adventure, Latin American Poker Tour, Asia Pacific Poker Tour, PokerStars Festival and PokerStars MEGASTACK live poker tour and event brands.

PRNewswire reports that subject to The Stars Group meeting certain standard conditions, the transaction has been approved by the Northern Territory Racing Commission.

Owner of the two biggest poker sites in the world by way of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, The Stars Group’s entry in the Australian market could possibly be in anticipation of the online poker ban in Australia being rescinded. Last year in Australia, online poker games, which a Senate committee estimated to be worth $130 million annually, were banned via changes to the Interactive Gambling Act. Prior to the ban, PokerStars had exited the Australian markets.