Ladbrokes Buys Australian Bookmakers Betstar
The Australian online bookmakers Betstar has been sold to the British bookmakers Ladbrokes in a deal worth £12.4 million. Betstar was founded by Alan Eskander in 2007 and has an annual turnover of around $300 million. It was one of the few remaining Australian-owned operators.
Eskander said that he sold Betstar as it was becoming increasingly difficult for small-to-medium sized bookmakers to compete with larger companies. “The environment has been changing quite dramatically over the past five years or so,” he says. “Offshore bookmakers are coming into Australia and investing enormous amounts of money.”
Ladbrokes entered the Australian betting market last year after buying Brisbane-based Gaming Investments for $22.5 million.
Eskander has said that he views the deal as “really positive” and said that Ladbroke’s innovation and product offerings will be beneficial to Betstar members.
Ladbrokes has said that Betstar’s customers will lead to annual cost synergies of around AU$5 million for the business. Darnian Cope, Ladbrokes international managing director, said, “Australia represents one of the most vibrant regulated sports betting markets in the world and today’s announcement will see us add new customers to our growing presence. It offers us a chance to improve our market share and bring the innovative product development and marketing skills displayed by Ladbrokes.com.au to a wider audience.”