UK-listed Entain is evaluating the pros and cons of making a move for PointsBet’s Australian wagering business. If the Ladbrokes and Neds owner decides to bid for the betting rival, it will face competition from Betr.
The News Corp-backed bookie has reportedly been in discussions with PointsBet since December, and PointsBet informed investors that there was substantial “third-party strategic interest” for its local wagering provider.
However, sources now say that Entain is considering entering the PointsBet race too in an attempt to boost local growth and compete with rivals like Sportsbet. The Flutter-owned bookie announced last week it had an Australian market share of 48%, more than any other betting operator in Australia.
The Start of a Long-Anticipated Market Consolidation
PointsBet’s online betting business has become one of the most coveted targets for larger wagering groups. According to industry sources, a potential acquisition of PointsBet’s Australian division could be the start of a larger consolidation of the Australian betting industry that companies have been expecting for some time now.
Even though PointsBet has a small Australian market share of only 5%, it is an attractive target for Entain and Betr as it would allow them to compete with Tabcorp, the largest local wagering company, and Sportsbet, the biggest corporate bookie.
And Betr and Entain are not the only interested parties. The Australian Financial Review reports that foreign companies are also thinking about making a move. However, these foreign groups are reportedly interested in PointsBet’s US business too.
Entain Has Two Failed Australian Bids Already
BetMakers and PointsBet’s shares are the most heavily shorted stocks in Australia. PointsBet recently reported that its H1 loss after tax increased by 22% compared to last year. It also said it recorded $178 million in revenue, and $95 million came in the Australian betting market.
Entain became interested in PointsBet’s Australian arm after it unsuccessfully tried to acquire other Australian businesses. The FTSE 100 company attempted a deal for Tabcorp’s wagering division in 2021, but the $3.5 billion offer was rejected and Tabcorp decided to go for a demerger of the lotteries business to appease investors and shareholders.
Entain also tried and failed to get a wagering licence in West Australia for a retail wagering business.