Neds.com.au sold to Ladbrokes parent company for $68 million

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ANOTHER day, another big movement in the Australian online bookmaker industry.

One of the newest players on the betting scene, Neds.com.au, has been snapped up by GVC Holdings, the parent company of Ladbrokes.com.au, for an initial price of $68 million.

Neds.com.au executive chairman Dean Shannon has done it again. Five years after selling Bookmaker.com.au to GVC, he has created another bookmaker brand worthy of a buy-out. Neds.com.au entered the Australian market in October 2017 and has quickly cemented its place within the industry after some early headaches.

GVC Holdings has yet to lay out an official plan for its purchase, but its CEO, Kenneth Alexander, certainly sounds as if he is open to the idea of keeping the website operating independently of its other brand, Ladbrokes.

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“Neds is an exciting business, with talented people and enables us to further grow market share through two differentiated brands,” Alexander said.

While the sale figure initially reported for the Neds purchase is $68 million, the final sum could be as much as $100 million should the bookmaker reach certain performance benchmarks.

The move is just the latest in a continually-changing online bookmaker landscape in Australia where punters would be forgiven for losing track of who owns what.

A look at just the last few years provides punters with an idea of the ever-changing scene:

  • In 2013, UK bookmaker WilliamHill went on a buying spree in Australia, purchasing TomWaterhouse.com.au, Centrebet & Sportingbet — all three were eventually merged under the WilliamHill Australia brand.
  • In 2015, former Sportsbet CEO Matthew Trip came back to the Australian bookmaker scene, creating BetEasy.com.au. Just a few months later, BetEasy was purchased by Crown Resorts and became CrownBet.
  • In 2017, TopBetta purchased emerging brand Madbookie.
  • In February 2018, Canadian online gambling giant The Stars Group purchased WilliamHill Australia and CrownBet from a beleaguered Crown Resorts, merging them together under the old BetEasy brand.
  • In April 2018, PlayUp Interactive purchased TopBetta, ClassicBet and DraftStars.

Credit must go to Dean Shannon this week, who, despite some early doubts, has turned Neds into a quick success. The bookmaker was expected to earn more than $100 million in revenue next year from $1 billion in betting turnover. It’s performance of their newest services, like the Punter’s Toolbox and the Jump Off option, will no doubt play a big part on GVC’s decision to either keep the brand independent or merge with Ladbrokes.

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