Is Crown Bet James Packer's new betting venture?


Is Crown Bet James Packer's new betting venture? - 4th December 2014

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James Packer has been in talks with Matthew Tripp over a new online bookmaking venture. Photo: Darrian Traynor


James Packer's Crown Resorts has secured a new betting trademark, fuelling speculation that a tie-up with bookmaker Matthew Tripp will be revealed soon.

The legal and insurance department within the $10 billion company's Melbourne casino moved to lock in a trademark over Crown Bet last month.

After lodgement in early November the government trade mark office IP Australia accepted the trademark on December 1. It will now go through an advertising period that allows for other companies to query or oppose the trademark.

Although the trademark may be used for general casino operations or promotions it comes after Fairfax Media revealed that Mr Tripp and Mr Packer were in talks to create a new online bookmaking venture.

Mr Tripp's new outfit BetEasy stunned the local wagering sector this week when it emerged as the AFL's new betting partner in a deal said to cost $50 million over five years.

The 40-year-old, who made his final appearance on the BRW Young Rich list this year with a fortune of $117 million, has form in building online betting shops.

He turned Sportsbet into one of the fastest-growing online-only bookies before selling it to Irish wagering giant Paddy Power. After a period of enforced leave following the sale of his final stake to Paddy Power in 2011, Mr Tripp paid $10 million for the assets of troubled operator BetEzy earlier this year. He renamed the outfit BetEasy.

For its part Crown paid $10 million to buy the half of betting exchange Betfair that it did not already own in August. Although Betfair's exchange model is popular, it is yet to make sustainable profits here.

Mr Packer's Crown has yet to explain its strategy for Betfair, but it is understood the company wants to tap into the growing popularity of fixed odds betting.

A spokesman for Crown declined to comment on the new trademark or the potential deal. Mr Tripp could not be reached for comment.

(Fairfax Media)