Australian sports wagering company Betr is up for sale, less than a year after its launch and following a record $142,000 fine from regulators last month. The News Corp-backed gambling startup said it has been approached by “a number of international and domestic operators seeking to acquire the business.”
“We assess all opportunities with the aim of maximizing value for shareholders. Our primary focus remains to identify and execute opportunities to further our ambition to be a tier-one operator,” a Betr spokesperson said in a statement to the Australian Financial Review on Thursday.
The announcement of the sale comes after discussions around its potential acquisition of rival PointsBet fell through. The incoming solicitations are being managed by corporate advisory and financial services firm Barrenjoey, which Betr had previously engaged in handling other strategic matters for the company, including negotiations regarding PointsBet.
Betr was founded in 2022 as a three-way partnership between News Corp, Tripp, and a Las Vegas consortium, and acts as an online bookmaker for racing and sports events. Its launch was preceded by much anticipation about News Corp’s foray into online gambling, with the firm having reportedly invested AUD 49 million ($33 million) into the business.
Matt Tripp, CEO
The start-up arrived with a bang, advertising a $100-1 Melbourne Cup market, which captured headlines but eventually ended up in a $142,000 fine from Liquor & Gaming NSW for breaches of the wagering laws in its promotional material during its launch last year.
In April, Betr was issued with 14 separate infringement notices by Liquor and Gaming NSW for what the regulator said were “significant breaches of the law” when the company offered gamblers hugely inflated returns on every horse in the Melbourne Cup if they bet less than $10, and similar inducements on other horse races, as well as AFL and NRL games.
News Corp has been distancing itself from Betr in recent months, and two of the company’s executives recently quit Betr’s board. News Corp’s international accounts for the last six months of 2022 revealed around $33 million in losses to affiliates, a share of which was attributed to Betr, reports The Guardian.