The Australian Financial Review has revealed that CrownBet and Paddy Power Betfair subsidiary Sportsbet.com.au are the two suitors bidding for William Hill Australia.
Both operators are reported to have confirmed their interest this week in pursuing William Hill’s troubled Australian business division and will be allowed to perform due diligence on the asset to prepare their formal bids.
The update, sees Australia’s two biggest online bookmakers compete for William Hill’s division which has been active in the Australian market since 2012, formed through the acquisitions of Sportingbet Australia, Centrebet and TomWaterhouse.com.
Confirming a strategic review of its Australian business in January, William Hill is reported to have invested AUS $700 million (€440 million) to date on its Australian enterprise.
Deal insiders believe that William Hill governance will target an AUS $200 million (€126 million) sale for its asset.
FTSE100 Paddy Power Betfair seeks to continue the strong momentum of its Sportsbet Australia asset, which in 2017 became the outright market leader in online wagering with an estimated 15% of market share.
Led by industry veteran Matt Tripp, this February CrownBet secured Toronto TSX The Stars Group Inc as its new majority shareholder completing a €95 million investment in the operator.
Both Paddy Power Betfair and The Stars Group governances seek to expand further in a rapidly changing Australian online betting market, which has seen restrictions in credit-line betting and bookmaker advertising.
Furthermore, Australian state legislators are assessing whether to impose further taxes on online betting transactions, creating harsher terrain for market incumbents.
Facing severe operational restrictions, industry analysts believe that the Australian online wagering market may contract to become a small field of players from its current state, as European operators revise their market options.