NRL Renews its Wagering Contract with Sportsbet
The National Rugby League (NRL) has renewed its wagering contract with Sportsbet, while attracting much criticism from the industry for not offering rival betting companies the opportunity to negotiate and not running a proper tendering process.
A number of major betting companies wanted to be part of a bidding process for the wagering contract, including the 100 percent Australian owned CrownBet; however, the NRL did not consider rival bidders and renewed its current agreement with the Sportsbet, owned by Ireland’s Paddy Power, until 2020.
“The offer from CrownBet would have been materially higher,” stated a disappointed chief executive of CrownBet, Matt Tripp.
“Given the fact we’re the last Australian operator in the land and it’s gone to an Irish operator, the profits are not retained in Australia.”
“We won responsible service operator of the year for good reason, because of our service of responsible gambling which would have been the crux of what this agreement was going to be about.”
“For a host of reasons we should have had a seat at the table and the thing that is quite upsetting is that for the last six months we were told we would have a seat at the table.”
“To have this happen to us now is disappointing. If they open up the game in four years’ time and they handle the process better, we’ll probably throw our hat in the ring.”
As official wagering partner, Sportsbet will continue to have first rights to advertise with the official broadcasters Channel Nine and Fox Sport, as well as via radio channels.
The NRL stood by their decision, saying that they “have secured more than $60 million for the game at all levels. We have already had a partnership with Sportsbet and this renewal is an outstanding result for the game.”
April 16, 2017