The deal was presented as another win for billionaire deal maker James Packer, with his online gambling business CrownBet breaking into the lucrative NSW betting market through a “digital partnership” with the state’s 1200 registered clubs.
But questions have now emerged around the process that ended with ClubsNSW choosing CrownBet over bitter rivals Tabcorp – the traditional betting provider in clubs – Sportsbet and Betting.club.
The focus of industry concern is former AFL supremo Andrew Demetriou, whose sports and marketing company Beyond Boundaries Group ran the tender process on behalf of ClubsNSW.
Mr Demetriou is also a board member of both CrownBet and Mr Packer’s flagship company Crown Resorts, which owns 62 per cent of CrownBet.
A source familiar with one of the other two losing bids said: “There is no way this would pass the pub test”.
“The optics aren’t great: a firm run by Andrew Demetriou awards deal to company he is a board member of.”
Not a good look at all.