Last week, it was reported that William Hill had expressed interest in purchasing the CrownBet operation from Crown Resorts, and now it is believed that Paddy power Betfair have followed their lead and thrown their hat into the ring too.
The reports of both company’s intentions come following Crown Resorts’ addressing of rumours and speculation that it wants to divest its 62% interest in CrownBet, a brand that focuses on horse racing and sports betting.
Media outlets reported that William Hill was to be the buyer, and the bookmaker tentatively confirmed the rumours, saying that it was in “very preliminary discussions” with CrownBet.
The full statement to the Financial Times read:
“Following media speculation, William Hill confirms that it is in very preliminary discussions with CrownBet, the 62% owned online wagering business of Crown Resorts, regarding a possible combination of William Hill Australia, a wholly owned subsidiary of William Hill, and CrownBet.”
But added that “there is no certainty that these preliminary discussions will lead to any transaction.”
The news that Paddy Power Betfair has now expressed interest in purchasing CrownBet will cause concern for William Hill, especially as this would cement the bookmaker’s position in Australia, as they already own the country’s biggest online gambling brand, SportsBet.
Suggestions are rife that this will be happening more and more as British bookmakers are looking to offset the risks caused by stricter regulations, as well as diversifying the operations they run.
This was shown by newly formed sports betting giant Ladbrokes Coral’s unsuccessful attempts to purchase their rival GVC earlier this year. Insiders are expecting a string of attempted (and successful) purchases to follow in the near future, possibly kickstarted by either William Hill or Paddy Power Betfair’s possible purchase of CrownBet.