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Bet365’s Australian operation reports reduced losses

Sun, Aug 14, 12:55pm by Staff Writer

In the 12-month fiscal year which ended on March 27th, the Australian division of U.K.-based online betting firm Bet365 posted a net loss of AUD$10.9 million – which actually represented a marked improvement.

Since the division’s launch in 2012, Bet365 Australia has compiled losses in each fiscal year, amounting to AUD$133 million in total. During the 2014 fiscal year Bet365 Australia lost AUD$41 million, and last year the regional operation was AUD$31 million in the red.

As part of a disclosure statement issued to the Australian Securities and Investment Commission, Bet365 executives expressed their view that the Australian-based service was ‘gaining momentum in the market’, while also confirming that the company would remain ‘committed to maintaining the present level of operations to support that aim’ despite the losses.

Bet365, owned by U.K. billionaire Denise Coates, also stated that the Australian operation would become profitable over the long-term:

“It is the Director’s view that over the longer term the Company will become profitable and, therefore, deliver a positive contribution to the Group.”

In fiscal year 2016 the amount of betting action taken in by Bet365 Australia jumped to AUD$2.5 billion in 2016, which represented an increase of $438 million over the previous year.

Currently, Bet365 ranks third among online gambling operators in Australia, in terms of market share, with 17 percent of the country’s internet-based wagering taking place on the platform.

Domestic operator Sportsbet has captured a 26 percent market share, just beating out rival Tabcorp with its 25 percent. Bet365 is outperforming fellow offshore operators William Hill Australia (12 percent) and Ladbrokes Australia (2 percent), as well as domestic enterprises like Crownbet (9 percent), Tatts Group (4 percent), and Tabcorp’s Luxbet brand (4 percent).

With such a crowded marketplace for Australian online gamblers to choose from, the relatively new Bet365 regional division resorted to a full-fledged marketing and advertising blitz in order to attract new customers and build brand awareness.

Last year saw Bet365 Australia increase its marketing budget from AUD$2 million to AUD$17.3 million, which resulted in increased affiliate commissions of AUD$6.8 million – or more than 50 percent over the previous year. All told, Bet365 Australia contributed AUD$26.6 million in taxes and levies in the 2016 fiscal year, up more than AUD$22 million over last year.

American actor Samuel L. Jackson represented Bet365 Australia’s renewed advertising campaign in a series of well-received spots, but not all of its marketing efforts were as successful.

In June of this year, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) imposed a fine of AUD$2.75 million on Bet365 Australia, resulting from a ‘free bet’ advert which the regulatory agency ruled to be fraudulent in nature. While promising new players and frequent depositors a “free bet,” Bet365 Australia actually required a number of wagers be placed before the bonus bets could be claimed, without properly disclosing these provisions to prospective customers.

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