LEADING bookmaker BetEasy is set to join the funeral pyre of brands in the online gambling scene in Australia.
The Matthew Tripp-fronted BetEasy will be re-branded Crownbet, after 67 per cent of the company was sold to Crown Resorts last year.
The move marks the first time the Crown brand has been used in online wagering, despite head honcho James Packer also having interests in another bookmaker, Betfair.
Sources close to BetEasy confirmed the re-branding to Australian Racing Greyhound on Monday afternoon, but no official announcement is expected until Tuesday morning AEST.
The BetEasy brand will join discontinued websites, Sportingbet, Sportsbet and IASbet as big name recent departures or mergers in the Australian market, which is worth $13 billion.
Existing BetEasy customers will automatically have their accounts rolled into the new Crownbet brand, along with their account balance and any pending bets.
While the BetEasy brand will relocate to www.Crownbet.com.au, there is not expected to be much change in the layout from the current BetEasy website.
Packer and Tripp joined forces last December when the casino mogul bought into BetEasy, with the rumour mill then going into overdrive when the pair registered Crownbet as a business.
While the Australian market is lucrative enough, with Crownbet’s pairing with the AFL and other major sporting codes set to spark a major windfall for the new company, the re-branding raises the question as to whether the new brand will look outside Australia as well.
Packer has shown a willingness to expand internationally with casinos in Macau and Las Vegas and a failed bid to build a casino in Sri Lanka on his resume. While the international bookmaking scene, particularly in the UK is extremely competitive, the new pairing could easily target the Asian market.
The Crown brand is already established among many elite Chinese, Japanese and Malaysian businessmen who regularly play at Melbourne’s Crown Casino or in one of their Macau interests.
The awareness of the Crown brand is set to explode with movie stars including Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert De Niro and Brad Pitt, featuring in a huge budget short film, directed by Martin Scorscese, promoting the Macau casinos set to be released later this year.
The company hinted at the possibility of luring the high rollers to bet with BetEasy when Crown Resorts made their purchase, saying the two million Crown Signature Club members would be targeted, with many of these international gamblers.
Australian Racing Greyhound will continue to cover this story as it breaks.