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Centrebet is an Australian bookmaker licensed in the Northern Territory.

Centrebet originated from Alice Springs, Northern Territory and was the first bookmaker to be licensed in Australia in 1993 and the first bookmaker to go online in the Southern Hemisphere. Centrebet was acquired by its biggest domestic rival, the SportOdds Group in 2003 for the sum of AUD$46.55 million. In 2005, SportOdds merged its Centrebet, SportOdds.com and SuperOdds.co.uk businesses into one entity, known as Centrebet.

Con Kafataris is the CEO of the company while Peter Foot acts as chief bookmaker.

Centrebet is the second largest private bookmaking company in Australia (Sportsbet is the largest) and one of the biggest bookmakers in the world, with betting across all sports (both within and outside of Australia), horse racing and other events, including Australian elections and television shows. The Centrebet Group offers over 4000 individual betting options every week.

The Centrebet Group has recently commenced expansion of its core operations to include online gaming, including poker and casino. However, due to Australia's Interactive Gambling Act 2001, the Group are not permitted to offer gaming products to Australians. In 2006, the company listed on the Australian Stock Exchange.

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Centrebet flags strong profit growth, by Teresa Oo - 8th July 2009
(Credit: The Australian)

 

CENTREBET has flagged strong profit growth next year, as it takes a bigger share of the country's online wagering revenue.

"Centrebet is well positioned to deliver strong profit growth in the 2010 financial year, supported by continued growth in the Australian market, a rationalised cost base and marketing investment adjusted to reflect the change in industry dynamics," deputy managing director Michael McRitchie said.

The company also confirmed full-year profit guidance for 2008-09 at the upper end of its April forecast of between $10 million and $11 million.

In February, Centrebet said it was on track to deliver a full-year profit of $14.3m, but two months later it downgraded this forecast by 30 per cent.

The company was stung by an $800,000 bad debt from one of its customers, former Billabong chief executive Matthew Perrin, who filed for bankruptcy in March.

Mr McRitchie said deregulation had forced Centrebet to spend more on marketing, reducing profits.

"Centrebet has now completed an extensive cost rationalisation process to mitigate the cost impact of industry changes and refocus on key priority markets -- total annualised saving of over $2m is expected on a pre-tax basis," he said.

The company has trimmed costs and cut staff numbers by 15 per cent, resulting in 34 job losses.

Managing director Con Kafataris said: "While deregulation of the industry has presented some short-term cost challenges, it has created an attractive outlook for Centrebet to grow market share.

"We expect the overall industry to show strong growth over the medium term and Centrebet is well positioned to maximise our share of the growth through customer-focused product offerings, targeted marketing investment and disciplined risk and cost management."

In February, Centrebet made a $22m offer for International All Sports but was rebuffed. Darwin-based Sportsbet and its parent, Irish betting group Paddy Power, have since made a takeover bid for IAS.

Based on unaudited accounts, Centrebet said its total revenue had risen 6 per cent to $66.2m, driven by growth in the Australian online wagering market.

Australian online revenue rose 23 per cent to $32.9m -- 50 per cent of total revenue. Its on-course revenue fell 31 per cent to $3.3 million, which only made up 5 per cent of revenue.

European revenue, excluding poker, remained flat at $26.1m. European poker revenue decreased 17 per cent to $3.8m.

Centrebet's successful launch of its fixed odds management contracts with West Australian, ACT and Tasmanian TABs was a "positive start".

The company would manage more than $200m a year in fixed costs betting turnover on behalf of the TABs.

Centrebet's share price rose 3c yesterday to close at 93c.

 

 

Centrebet has good odds on recession - 16th December 2008
(Credit: The Sydney Morning Herald)

 

Not all economists would punt on Australia falling into recession, but betting agency Centrebet is offering good odds on the economy bottoming out.

The bookmaker has Australia a $1.12 favourite to fall into recession in the next 12 months and $5.50 if it is avoided.

Centrebet media chief Neil Evans said the effects of the production meltdown in industries such as car manufacturing had yet to hit Australia's economy.

"The global financial downturn has not even gone close to bottoming out through Australia's economy," Mr Evans said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Allowing for fearful retail and wholesale forecasts through the Christmas-New Year period, it will be a miracle if Australia avoids recession."

Economic forecasts from JP Morgan and Citigroup both predict Australia will suffer a technical recession - face two quarters of negative economic growth in early 2009.

Other economists predict the economy will be flat, avoiding recession through measures like the federal government's economic stimulus package and cuts in interest rates.

Earlier this month, the Australian Business Economists executive committee, including economists from Westpac, nabCapital and Reserve Bank of Australia, placed the chance of recession at 40 per cent.

Centrebet has also released its latest market for the Reserve Bank's next interest rates decision, with a 75 basis point rate cut the favourite at $2.35, ahead of a 50 basis point cut at $2.40, and 100 basis point drop at $3.50.

 

 

Chris Munce market pulled in bid to ease tension, by Brendan Cormick - 12th December 2008
(Credit: The Australian)

A Northern Territory betting outlet was yesterday asked to withdraw a market framed on the return to race riding of convicted jockey Chris Munce because it threatened to inflame the strained relationship between Hong Kong and Racing NSW further.

Corporate bookmaker Centrebet prepared to bet $5.50 about the Melbourne Cup-winning jockey riding a winner and making a fairytale return to the racetrack at Randwick's Kensington course today. Punters could take $1.15 about Munce going winless on his first day back at the "office".

"The (Northern Territory) Government stepped in and put an end to the market before it had a chance to see the light of day," said the source, who did not wish to be identified. "The authorities felt it was too sensitive, given all the tension between NSW and Hong Kong."

Centrebet considered Sheezvalue, in the fifth race, the best of Munce's rides. His book of mounts was reduced to two yesterday when trainer David Hayes withdrew Swoop And Destroy from the opening event on the twilight card.

Munce's clearance by Racing NSW will be a topic of discussion at the Australian Racing Board's monthly meeting this morning in Sydney.

Racing NSW elected not to acknowledge a 30-month disqualification, handed down by the Hong Kong Jockey Club this month. Backdated to March 1, 2007 and still with 10 months to run, the disqualification would normally have been routinely endorsed in Australia.