Tag Archive : Australia

Flutter’s Merger with The Stars Group Gets Informal OK in Australia

Flutter Entertainment’s multi-billion merger with Canadian rival The Stars Group has received informal regulatory approval by Australia’s competition authority.

The approval comes as welcome news, but the mega-merger still requires formal approvals by a number of regulators in the countries where the two companies have significant presence.

Flutter announced today that its £10-billion all-share combination with The Stars Group has been granted informal approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

However, the mega-merger that will create one of the world’s biggest online betting and gaming company is still subject to approval by the Australian Foreign Investment Review Board and other regulatory bodies.

News about the informal approval of the tie-up in Australia emerge just a couple of weeks after UK’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced that it has opened a probe into the deal. A CMA review is among the mandatory regulatory hurdles Flutter and The Stars Group need to clear before being able to close the deal.

The CMA is set to probe whether the high-profile marriage of the two gambling powerhouses will hurt competition in the UK gambling market.

The combined entity will own some of the largest sports betting and gaming brands, including Paddy Power, Betfair, Sky Betting & Gaming, and PokerStars, and will have more than 13 million active customers in over 100 international gambling markets.

Deal Expected to Close in Q2

Flutter and The Stars Group announced their tie-up in October 2019. The deal, if allowed to go ahead by all competent authorities, will create one of the world’s largest gambling operators. The merger is expected to close at some point in the second quarter of the year, subject to approvals and other customary conditions.

The two major operators are targeting cost synergies of £140 million per year by the end of their third full year as a combined group.

Flutter and The Stars Group also hope to use their combined strength to secure a bigger slice in the US sports betting market where a recently annulled federal ban on athletic gambling has caused a stampede, with more and more companies looking to tap into the lucrative space.

In the US, The Stars Group provides online gaming and sports betting services in several states through its PokerStars and FOX Bet brands. The latter operation was launched as a result from the Canadian gambling company’s partnership with sports media giant FOX Sports.

As for Flutter, it conducts activities through its Betfair and FanDuel brands. FanDuel, the daily fantasy sports turned sports betting operator has claimed and been holding the lead in the important New Jersey sports betting market.

In Australia, the combined group will easily dominate the market. Flutter’s Sportsbet is the second largest sports betting operator, and The Stars Group’s BetEasy is the third largest sports betting operator.

Source: Flutter’s planned merger with Stars gets informal approval in Australia

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GVC Australia hit with record New South Wales fine

GVC Holdings-owned Ladbrokes Australia and Neds have been hit with a New South Wales record fine of AUS$207,500 (US$139,300) for offering illegal gambling inducements to residents in the state.

An investigation by government agency NSW Liquor & Gaming found Ladbrokes – which is owned by GVC, along with Neds – was guilty of offering betting bonuses to people who opened new betting accounts.

The adverts, four from Ladbrokes and two from Neds, ran across Channel 7, Instagram and Facebook in 2018, with the deal offering a ‘Deposit $50, get $250 in bonus bets’.

Under the state’s Betting and Racing Act, it is deemed an offence to publish adverts which might lure people to participate or participate frequently in any gambling activity.

Operators found guilty of promoting such inducements to gamble face fines of up to  AU$110,000 per offence and company directors can be criminally prosecuted.

NSW Liqour and Gaming Diretor of Compliance, Dimitri Argeres, said: “Inducements are known to increase the risk of gambling harm and these advertisements reached a broad segment of the population.

“In NSW such advertisements are restricted to registered betting account holders. This record fine should serve as a reminder that betting operators have an obligation to ensure their gambling advertising complies with NSW laws.”

Australia introduces a roadmap to blockchain adoption

Australia is embracing blockchain technology and is on a mission to make the most of this innovation. While the country is still one of the hubs for blockchain, there is still a lot to be done on the government’s part, to make sure that the adoption rate keeps growing and the services across the spectrum make good use of the innovation.

The fact that blockchain will inevitably become an integral part of contemporary society is indisputable, meanwhile, though, every country that wants to maintain a technological edge is trying to maximize the gains and improve the existing state of the blockchain. The technology is getting attention from all around the world and the unexplored potential of this innovation could drastically improve a lot of businesses and services, making them faster, more transparent and most importantly – profitable.

Blockchain is already a huge part of the Australian day-to-day services. The country’s love for crypto is well known and Aussies have embraced different sorts of e-Wallets, using them almost as often as traditional payment methods. Accepting blockchain-based crypto payments is a common thing in the country, gaining more popularity than in any other place in the world. Many entertainment centres, such as shops and online casinos in Australia accept crypto payments and are specifically catered to that group of consumers. They have become an essential part of Australia’s financial industry, and now the country is looking to expand the benefits of blockchain technology.


National Blockchain Roadmap

Recently, the Australian government introduced a 32-step guideline that is supposed to help the country on its journey to fully embracing blockchain technology, in order to generate more income for the country. The National Blockchain Roadmap is a detailed description of the government’s plan of making blockchain more profitable and mainstream. 

The roadmap is a 52-page document that was released by the Minister for Industry, Science, and Technology with help from industry experts and universities, who formed an Advisory Committee. The Australian government wants to use blockchain for international investments and collaborations, to enhance the skills, capability and innovative movements and hopes to work on and improve its existing regulations and standards when it comes to blockchain technology.


Importance of regulations

While many discussions centre around blockchain technology, when it comes to regulations, most of the country is still figuring it out. Since the nature of blockchain is something completely new to the regulatory bodies, they often find it hard to strike the right balance between security and freedom. This new roadmap hopes to create an ecosystem where blockchain technology thrives and where its capabilities can be fully explored in a safe and regulated environment.

As mentioned in the National Blockchain Roadmap, Australia will focus on supporting global supply chain management systems and will further look into the tracking of assets through blockchain. The decentralized aspect of the technology is what makes it so popular, and it also represents the main commitment on Australia’s part to embrace this approach and promote decentralized management and distribution. Transitioning towards blockchain-based management could save a lot of money and improve customer experience. There are, however, new challenges that most people haven’t had a chance to deal with yet. The need for identity checks and security has never been so high. The regulations regarding the legitimacy of blockchain platforms need to be altered to ensure the quality of these services and information is maintained through and through.


The Blockchain capital

Australia has ambitious plans to become the global leader in the digital economy, in a ten-year period. Their efforts, when it comes to blockchain technology, have served as a testament to their commitment to this long-term leadership goals.

Ths roadmap has 12 steps that need to be completed by 2025, and the committee will provide support and advice for anyone who wants to get into this industry and is willing to contribute to the long term goals of the Australian government – concerning blockchain adoption and utilization. The committee will provide accessible information about the existing government programs, making services more popular.

This roadmap is one of the first of its type in the world. The countries are mostly hesitant to prioritize this technology and focus so heavily on development and adoption levels.