News Corp strikes deal with BetMakers (ASX:BET)

Company News

by Melissa Darmawan

BetMakers (ASX:BET) is named as the platform technology provider by a consortium composed of Las Vegas Tekkorp digital chairman Matt Davey, well-known betting-industry executive Matthew Tripp’s trust, TGW and News Corp as it eyes the sports betting market in Australia. US News Corp is the owner of Dow Jones & Co. who is the publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

The new wagering venture will apply for a sports bookmaker licence under which it will operate a new online wagering product for Australian and New Zealand punters to bet on racing and sports, joining a competitive field in one of the most mature sports-betting markets in the world.

Investors are rewarding the news after they assessed the tailwinds that a global media company plus two very experienced and successful wagering entrepreneurs could bring to the sector. Matt Davey founded NYX Gaming Group in Sydney in 2005 and listed in Canada December 2014 which sold to Scientific Games Corp 13 years later for US$626 million. Matt Tripp who acquired Sportsbet for $250,000 in 2005 and sold it to Paddy Power for $388 million in 2009 and 2011 then founded BetEasy in 2013, merged with CrownBet and BetFair which then sold 80 per cent to The Stars Group in Feb 2018.

The 10 year deal is under a revenue share arrangement with potential revenues more than $300 million with the product launch slated for the second half of 2022.

BetMakers issued Matt Tripp 35 million Class A performance rights which is set to vest upon delivery of a strategic deal. Mr Tripp has agreed to increase the escrow arrangement to 100 per cent on the Class A performance rights, and any shares issued on conversion, for a period of 3 years in return for consideration of $15 million.

Matt Davey will step down from the BetMakers board but will remain a long-term shareholder of the company.

While the deal is focussed on Australia and New Zealand, the company says this new model will play an important part in expanding overseas.

Shares are trading 21.7 per cent higher to 78.5 cents.

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