Wednesday August 3,2011 : Taking many webmasters and affiliates in the industry by surprise this week was a communication from the Australian online gambling group Centrebet indicating a withdrawal from several markets.
The official communication read:
"As of 1st August all advertising outside our core regions must cease.
"This includes all free bets and bonus offers for all products, including sports, racing, casino, poker, games and arcade.
"The core-regions are: Australia, Denmark, Greece, Cyprus and Norway.
"If your websites are not specifically directed at Australia, Denmark, Greece, Cyprus or Norway, please remove any mention of Centrebet from your sites, this includes text, images or any links.
"Offers in our core-regions of Australia, Denmark, Greece, Cyprus and Norway will continue to be available as normal."
No reasons were given from the withdrawal, but there is already speculation that it may be related to the recent agreement by Sportingbet plc to buy Centrebet for some A$183 million, creating a global business with aggregated revenue of about A$380 million.
Chief executive officer Andrew McIver told Dow Jones Newswires recently that Sportingbet needs to balance its portfolio, since it makes 60 percent of its revenue in Europe and 20 percent in Australia, adding that the Centrebet acquisition will increase Australia's revenue contribution to 30 percent.
Once the deal completes Sportingbet plans to merge the Australian operations of Centrebet and Sportingbet into a single unified business and expects to yield synergies of about A$17 million a year.