The Sydney Morning Herald reported on December the 2nd 2014 that “Matt Tripp’s upstart online wagering firm, BetEasy, has beaten bigger and more established rivals to become the AFL’s official betting partner for the next five years.
However, BetEasy is understood to have paid a big price for the deal, shelling out nearly $10 million annually for the term of the contract from the 2015 season.
Tabcorp’s TAB previously held the AFL rights, which includes finals and the Brownlow Medal, and went close to winning the next deal.
The deal is the first big win for Mr Tripp. He bought the former BetEzy in March after leaving Sportsbet 12 months earlier following its sale to Irish giant Paddy Power.
“It shows we’re very serious and we’re here to stay and we’re delighted to align ourselves with what we think is Australia’s biggest sport,” Mr Tripp, a member of the BRW Young Rich list said. “We beat out some of the big European wagering firms and I think that is important to note. All our profits will stay here in Australia, so I hope punters will come to us for that reason.”
The deal means BetEasy will gain some signage at AFL games as well as advertising on the AFL website and other digital platforms. It declined for now to pay for AFL matches to be streamed via its website, which the TAB undertook for part of the 2014 season.
BetEasy also gains first rights to negotiating separate sponsorship arrangements with AFL broadcasters Seven West Media and Foxtel. It is understood to be keen to negotiate a deal with Seven, giving it a free-to-air presence across Australia.
The value of that deal combined with the direct contract with the AFL could take BetEasy’s spending on the sport to about $20 million. Rival Sportsbet pays Nine Entertainment Co about $10 million annually as broadcast partner for NRL matches.
Mr Tripp said BetEasy would also be a sponsor for Nine’s cricket World Cup coverage in February and March and look for other sports properties.
“We think there are lots of opportunities across sports, be it sponsorship or otherwise,” he said. “We sponsored the Masters golf recently and that went well for us, so we are actively looking for other opportunities.”
“We’ve also just had a really good [horse racing] spring carnival and have picked up more than 100,000 active customers and we now have about 200 staff. So we are serious about being the only Australian-owned entity in this space.”
Mr Tripp, 41, made his $122 million fortune from the Sportsbet sale.
However, he said he wanted to maintain ownership of BetEasy in the long term, positioning it as the only major Australian-owned bookmaker, along with the listed Tabcorp and Tatts Group, with overseas operators such as Paddy Power, William Hill and Ladbrokes dominating the corporate or online bookmaker scene.”