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TopBetta buys out Mad Bookie

Fri, Apr 21, 9:26am by Jonathan Zaun

TopBetta Holdings Ltd., an online race and sportsbook company listed on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX), recently announced the acquisition of start-up competitor Mad Bookie Pty Ltd.

In a press release issued on April 13, the Newcastle-based TopBetta outlined the terms of its asset acquisition agreement with the Melbourne-based Mad Bookie.

According to the announcement, TopBetta will absorb Mad Bookie’s database of more than 15,000 active user accounts, one which produced an annualised turnover rate of nearly $80M during each of the last two years since the company was founded.

Todd Buckingham, chief executive officer of TopBetta, spoke glowingly of Mad Bookie’s extensive database of regular online punters:

“To acquire a ready-made, active database like Mad Bookie’s under this arrangement makes a lot of sense in an industry that has high customer acquisition costs, and we will certainly be on the lookout for similar deals should they arise in the future, both here in Australia and internationally.”

Buckingham also outlined plans to maintain the Mad Bookie brand, which will operate under the Sports Bookmaker’s License awarded to TopBetta by the Northern Territory Racing Commission (NTRC) last year:

“The acquisition of Mad Bookie has the potential to quickly and substantially increase turnover for TopBetta’s retail business, while adding significant revenues due to higher yields and cost savings through aligning the synergies between the businesses.”

Brett Luntz, founder and chief executive officer of Mad Bookie, also spoke about the potential for synergy between the brand he built and TopBetta:

“We are delighted to be joining the TopBetta group.”

“We believe that the baseline we have set up for our loyal customer base over the past 24 months will be further enhanced through this acquisition and the synergies it delivers. We couldn’t be more excited.”

TopBetta was founded in 2013, under an original license issued by the Norfolk Island Gaming Authority (NIGA), before gaining certification by NTRC. In July of 2015, the company was officially listed on the ASX.

Mad Bookie was founded in 2015 and operated under a NIGA license until the TopBetta purchase was announced.

That deal is still pending approval by NRTC and assorted state racing regulators, including Racing Victoria and Racing NSW.

If approved, TopBetta would pay Mad Bookie an initial cash installment of $100,000.

From there, the value of Mad Bookie’s assets would then be calculated based on the completion of a 12-month “earn out” period. During that time, the company’s average monthly net gaming revenue – less taxes and product fees – will be multiplied by 24, with the initial installment payment deducted.

Whichever total is highest, $400,000 or the resulting net gaming revenue, would be established as the final purchase price.

Top Betta executives have elected to retain their counterparts at Mad Bookie, along with supplementary staff, for at least the duration of the earn out period.

Both companies are domestically owned and operated, eschewing the typical model of offshore investment or ownership in favor of an Australia-focused philosophy.

Even so, as Buckingham revealed to TopGaming, TopBetta expects to use the Mad Bookie acquisition as a springboard to both domestic and international expansion:

“The deal is a win-win for both parties, which is always pleasing when you can do deals like that. Adding Mad Bookie to our company forms part of our strategy to expand not only in Australia but internationally.”

“Not many bookmakers based in Australia have the capability to expand internationally due to their HeadCo structure being based overseas already, but it is an opportunity afforded to us and we intend to take advantage of this.”


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