Save articles for later
Add articles to your saved list and come back to them any time.
News Corp’s former venture into Australian betting has belatedly paid thousands of punters who backed Penrith to win the 2023 NRL grand final following a controversial 100-to-1 inducement.
The record $40 million Penrith payout marks the end of Betr’s infamous launch offer that allowed customers to place a $10 bet on a string of sporting events with 100-to-1 odds, including the 2022 Melbourne Cup, the football World Cup and 2023 AFL grand final.
More than 300,000 punters took home $1000 after backing Penrith to win the NRL grand final. Credit: Getty Images
The fledgling wagering business wrote to customers on Friday to warn they would not be paid until October 6 at the latest, to the outcry of punters. It completed its payout on Wednesday afternoon, one day before its deadline.
Betr has amassed more than 300,000 customers and credits the inducement for its growth. The way Betr promoted the inducement led to the company copping a $210,000 penalty from the NSW regulator soon after its October launch.
“We’ll do all we can to have any winnings in your account as soon as possible, but by no later than 5pm Friday, October 6,” Betr told customers in an email on Friday.
Winnings are normally issued instantaneously, but it’s believed Betr built its market manually, which created the need for a delay. Betr’s exposure on Penrith after hedging and cash-outs ahead of the game is believed to be $18 million.
Betr launched ahead of spring reason season last year as a consortium between News Corp, LA-based Tekkorp and founder Matt Tripp’s investor vehicle TGW, which planned to leverage News Corp’s swathe of media assets.
But News Corp executives took umbridge with the 100-to-1 odds offer and exited from its holding in February, with News Corp’s former Betr board members Peter Blunden and Mark Reinke quietly stepping away from their roles in March.
All up, News injected $75 million into Betr, and wrote down $52 million as a loss for the 2023 financial year.
It’s believed Tekkorp left the consortium before October after being unable to fund its launch obligations.
Betr chairman Matt Tripp.Credit: Oscar Colman
This means Tripp and his investors have owned 100 per cent of the company since February.
Tripp said last week that Betr generated $225 million in gross profits from the customers its gained since launching, and hedged the bulk of its inducement exposure via lay-off wagers and early pay-outs.
“We had always anticipated [the launch] would cost us somewhere between $50 million and $80 million, depending on how the results fell,” Tripp said.
“For us to have spent $72 million in hard costs, then probably another $20 million in marketing, we spent just under $100 million to generate more than double that.”
The Business Briefing newsletter delivers major stories, exclusive coverage and expert opinion. Sign up to get it every weekday morning.
Most Viewed in Business
From our partners
Source: Read Full Article