Crown Resorts, operator of casinos across Australia, is in discussions to sell its 62% share in betting business CrownBet.
The company has responded to speculation reported by The Australian which said William Hill was lining up a potential takeover, although it is not clear who Crown is in discussions with and whether the whole 62% is up for negotiation.
A Crown Resorts statement said: “Crown Resorts Limited… notes media speculation today in relation to consolidation in the online wagering industry, including in relation to CrownBet, which is 62% owned by Crown.
“Crown evaluates opportunities regarding its investments from time to time. Crown confirms that it is in discussions concerning its interest in CrownBet. There is no certainty as to whether any transaction will eventuate.”
This is not the first potentially high-profile betting acquisition on the cards in Australia. The long-running AU$11bn deal between Tabcorp and Tatts continues to rumble on, with the Federal Court sending the case back to Australia’s Competition Tribunal following a judicial review.
CrownBet was one of the organisations filing for a judicial review, citing concerns about competition in the marketplace. However, others welcome the proposed merger, claiming it would help elevate Australian horse racing onto the global stage.