Stake.com, founded by Australian billionaire Edward Craven and US-born Australian resident Bijan Tehrani, is making significant moves to enter the regulated online betting market. Recent information reveals the company, which boasts an impressive $3.9 billion annual gross gaming revenue, has initiated the process of applying for a bookmaking license in Australia’s Northern Territory.
Aim to Disrupt Established Market Leaders
This ambitious move could potentially disrupt the current hierarchy of online bookmakers. If successful, Stake would go head-to-head with mainstream betting operators including Sportsbet, PointsBet, Entain’s Ladbrokes, Neds, and the ASX-listed Tabcorp. According to insiders, Stake’s founders are two to three months into the application process.
While the approval is not a guaranteed result due to the requirement of proof of fund sourcing, it signals a strategic shift for Stake, currently based out of Melbourne. At present, Australian locals can’t partake in Stake’s services, as customers bet with cryptocurrency.
Alongside the Australian application, Stake is also pursuing an iGaming license in the Canadian province of Ontario.
Furthermore, there have been rumors about Stake considering acquisitions of regulated US companies. In fact, the company was recently linked to a potential bid for the New York Stock Exchange-listed online gaming platform, Rush Street Interactive.
Signs of Expansion
In another sign of expansion, Craven and Tehrani have quietly registered the first local Australian companies and trademarks for their Stake brand. This move is generally seen as a precursor to transitioning to a more regulated local market.
Stake Gaming Pty Ltd, registered with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, marks the first instance of the duo using their Stake brand domestically.
Tehrani had previously signalled the Stake duo’s intentions to enter the Australian regulated market. In an exclusive interview with The Weekend Australian Magazine, he said, “We’re applying for an Australian licence now … and hopefully will get it in a year. I think long-term it makes sense; we live here. It’s super competitive but I think it’s 100 times more competitive on the internet (worldwide). The challenge is operating on low margins. But Ed and I are pretty confident that whatever market we go into, we can make an impact.“
Stake.com and Australian Betting License: what it Means for the industry
- Expansion of Cryptocurrency Betting: Stake’s move to acquire a regulated license could lead to a broader acceptance of cryptocurrency betting in mainstream markets, propelling the iGaming industry into a new era of digital transactions.
- Competition Intensification: With Stake aiming to break into the established market, we may witness a shake-up among traditional online betting operators, driving increased competition and potentially influencing market strategies.
- Regulatory Challenges: The move by Stake could potentially usher in tighter regulatory scrutiny for cryptocurrency-based gaming operations. This might result in the evolution of more comprehensive regulations governing the iGaming industry.
The implications of Stake.com’s expansion into regulated markets remain to be fully understood. However, one thing seems certain: the landscape of the online betting industry may be set for a significant transformation.