The Australian betting scene could be set for another shake up with both Ladbrokes Australia and Betr making early moves in 2023 including a potential merger between the latter and PointsBet.

Ladbrokes were the first of the betting sites to declare a move in February when announcing the acquisition of the Full House Group, which has a presence in more than 1,000 venues nationally and will now operate under the banner of Entain Venues.

Entain, of course, is the owner of Ladbrokes Australia and the ground-breaking move gives them access to leading in venue poker, trivia and sports and racing products from brands like QuizzaMe, InnQUIZitive, APL, SportsPick, Game On and DJ Bingo.

Mark Sturdy, GM of Entain Venues which was launched in 2022, said the move continues the company’s speedy expansion into new areas.

He said: “Having just entered the venue market late last year, it’s important for Entain that we are creating real value for venues every day of the week and not just through key trading periods.

“Our ambition when we set out was to be Australia’s leading venue entertainment provider, and the acquisition of Full House Group provides a comprehensive venue entertainment brand portfolio, a large customer base and deep industry experience.

“Through Entain’s market leading digital expertise and innovative culture, we are excited about the opportunities to further enhance these products and build out the distribution across the market.”

The move adds Ladbrokes and Neds to that list of entertainment services offered by Entain Venues, including to AHA NSW and into a number of on-the-ground pubs and hotels in New South Wales.

“Entain is delighted to have the opportunity to work with AHA NSW and its members on this ground-breaking new partnership,” Dean Shannon, Entain Australia, Chief Executive Officer, said. 

“This partnership recognises that evolution and is about offering choice for the benefit of AHA NSW members and their patrons. 

“There is no reason why traditional cash wagering can’t co-exist in a hotel, alongside an advertising sponsorship arrangement promoting Entain’s digital offerings through one of our leading brands.”

The interesting move gives Entain, via Ladbrokes and Neds, a foothold in the retail space that has previously been a monopoly for TAB Holdings.

In a separate move, the Matt Tripp-backed Betr, which launched in separate with some partial backing of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp, is reportedly in talks to buy the Australian arm of PointsBet.

Betr has been beset by problems since launching, losing heavily with Melbourne Cup promotions in November 2022, and not having the major financial impact that News Corp had expected.

With News Corp set to reduce their investment in the new betting brand, former Sportsbet and BetEasy boss Tripp is instead making a move of their own to increase Betr’s impact on a competitive market.

He, along with other investors which include Tekkorp Capital and BetMakers Technology Group, is said to be in discussions of the purchase of the Australian arm of PointsBet with a shift in focus from that bookmaker having been made towards North America.

“PointsBet confirms that it is currently in discussions with [the] owners and operators of Australian wagering operator Betr, regarding a potential transaction involving the sale of its Australian trading business and notes that any potential transaction will be assessed in the context of PointsBet’s global strategy and opportunities,” PointsBet said.

Prior to launching, Betr purchased local bookmaker TexBet for $10 million. That betting site had only been launched as an online operation less than 12 months earlier in partnership with Betmakers. 

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