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  • Australian Sports Betting Giants To Battle In Court

    Sports-betting giants face off in court over naming rights

    By Nick Toscano
    26 June 2018


    As the fight for customers in Australia’s booming sports-betting market intensifies, two bookmakers are set to face off in court over accusations a proposed brand name, Sportingbet, infringes on Sportsbet's trademark and would deceive punters.

    Sportsbet — the Australian arm of international gambling giant Paddy Power Betfair — has launched a Federal Court lawsuit against CrownBet over its plans to rebrand as "Sportingbet" following its recent split from James Packer's Crown Resorts.

    Led by well-known bookmaking identity Matt Tripp, CrownBet is preparing for the rebrand after its former majority owner, Crown Resorts, sold its stake to the Toronto-listed The Stars Group in February this year.

    CrownBet earlier this month applied to the corporate regulator to reserve "Sportingbet Pty Ltd" — the name of a betting company that was run by Mr Tripp's father until it was bought by William Hill in 2014.

    But in a potential obstacle for CrownBet, Sportsbet is now alleging in court documents that its competitor is threatening to engage in conduct likely to "mislead or deceive" members of the public, as the two names were "substantially similar".


    "Sportsbet is taking court action to protect the Sportsbet brand, and Australian consumers, from being misled in the market between Sportsbet and a Sportingbet brand," a spokesman for Sportsbet said on Tuesday.

    The lawsuit accuses CrownBet of having "flagrant disregard" for Sportsbet's rights as the owner of the Sportsbet trademark, and claims CrownBet's rebrand would mislead members of the public into believing its services have been sponsored by or have a connection with Sportsbet.

    The feud is the latest to play out in the Australian sports-betting industry, where the rising take-up of internet and app-based wagering has seen it rise in popularity by more than 10 per cent a year, sparking a fierce fight for market share between players such as Tabcorp, Sportsbet, CrownBet, Ladbrokes and Bet365.

    CrownBet recently beat Sportsbet in a tight contest to take over the Australian assets and customer base of gambling giant William Hill after its British parent company put the business up for sale. The $300 million acquisition was expected to double CrownBet's market share and cement its spot as the third-largest provider in Australia's online sports-betting market, behind Sportsbet and Tabcorp.

    Lawyers for CrownBet successfully applied to the Federal Court on Tuesday afternoon for an earlier initial hearing date than had previously been scheduled.

    CrownBet declined to comment on the lawsuit, but in correspondence with Sportsbet's lawyers has rejected demands to withdraw the trademark application, saying it intended to provide wagering services under the Sportingbet brand.


  • Sportingbet and Sportsbet existed at the same time in Australia before as far as I recall.

    I think I remember mixing them up myself in the past.

    I'd expect Crownbet to get their way though.


    More concerned about how Stars Group operate the business than the name.

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    • William Hill the brand has been swallowed up by BetEasy in Australia now.

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