Business is going well Down Under for some operators, but for others the Lucky Country is proving to be a difficult market to crack, as the latest research from the iGaming Business Market Monitor reveals.
Paddy Power Betfair’s Australian subsidiary Sportsbet is the leader among the corporate bookmakers, enjoying a 17% rise in revenues and a 29% rise in stakes in the first half of this year, although once Luxbet’s revenues are included with Tabcorp’s overall figures, Australia’s national operator is leader when it comes to online stakes.
Ladbrokes also saw a 42% rise in revenues and a huge 54% rise in stakes over the same period, although this came at the expense of profits — Ladbrokes’ gains were largely wiped out by a 32% rise in marketing costs and a 49% rise in operating costs.
The Market Monitor is a quarterly update of key igaming markets and is part of the iGaming Business Intelligence Centre subscription service.
For William Hill, however, the picture is much less rosy. Its decision to merge Sportingbet, Centrebet and Tom Waterhouse into its global brand hasn’t been a success so far. Although stakes were up 13%, revenues were down by 10% and operating profit fell by 13%.
UK giant bet365 has also failed to gain much traction in the Aussie market for the time being, reporting a 10.9% fall in operating profit in the first half, although this is also related to the fact that it has so far aimed for organic growth, rather than by acquisition.
But whether it’s operators being successful in Australia or those struggling, there are potential hurdles on the horizon.
After the government’s decision not to allow in-play gambling earlier this year, state governments have started to crack down on click-to-call systems that aim to get around the in-play ban.
This could have a significant impact on operators – at the company’s interim results presentation Ladbrokes’ chief executive Jim Mullen said click-to-call was worth about 6-7% of the company’s overall business.
Plans have also been mooted to introduce legislation to curb credit betting, which William Hill said accounted for about 20% of its total revenues.
Meanwhile over the next year the state of South Australia is also planning to introduce a point of consumption tax, and other states could follow its lead.
Source : www.igamingbusiness.com
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