In Australia, online sportsbetting operator, CrownBet Proprietary Limited, has reportedly been forced to delay a plan that would have seen it re-brand its recently-enlarged business under the ‘Sportingbet’ moniker after losing a legal challenge brought by rival bookmaker, Sportsbet.
According to a Wednesday report from The Sydney Morning Herald newspaper, CrownBet Proprietary Limited shelled out around $244 million in March to acquire the local assets of British sportsbetting giant William Hill. The Melbourne-based provider subsequently filed an application to trademark the word ‘Sportingbet’ before later asking the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for permission to register under the name Sportingbet Proprietary Limited.
The newspaper reported that legendary Australian sportsbetting entrepreneur, Alan Tripp, who is the father of CrownBet Proprietary Limited’s new Chief Executive Officer, Matt Tripp, had previously owned an Australia-facing sportsbetting operation called Sportingbet but sold this enterprise to William Hill as part of a 2014 deal worth about $606.3 million.
CrownBet Proprietary Limited, which is majority-owned by Toronto-listed The Stars Group Incorporated, had hoped to use the ‘Sportingbet’ name in honor of the senior Tripp but was last month sued by Sportsbet amid allegations that such a name-change would violate its own trademark and lead to confusion due to the fact that the two monikers are so similar.
In its July 11 ruling, the Federal Court of Australia reportedly granted Sportbet’s injunction request, which now leaves CrownBet Proprietary Limited to decide whether to abandon its preferred re-branding or contest the matter at trial.
“This decision demonstrates that the court shares our concern regarding the likelihood that consumers will be misled into thinking services offered under a ‘Sportingbet’ brand are connected or associated with Sportsbet,” reportedly read a statement from Sportsbet, which is a subsidiary of Dublin-headquartered bookmaking giant Paddy Power Betfair. “Sportsbet will continue to take all necessary action to protect its brand and prevent deception in the market and will see the matter through to a final determination if necessary.”
CrownBet Proprietary Limited told The Sydney Morning Herald that it was ‘obviously disappointed’ with the ruling from the Federal Court of Australia and was now set to ‘examine the decision closely and consider all options available to us’.