Wednesday August 31,2011 : Punters and investors left looking for their money and explanations
Australian-facing online betting agency Sports Alive, formed from a merger between a number of betting agencies including GlobalSportsBet and Sportsacumen, was unexpectedly placed into voluntary liquidation this month, leaving bewildered customers and investors looking for explanations of the company's rapid demise.
Melbourne-based liquidators Bent and Cougle report that thousands of patrons have been affected while the Australian Capital Territory (ACT) Racing and Gaming Commission's chief executive Greg Jones commented that the commission had been inundated with calls from distressed punters.
Although the ACT Government holds a $250 000 security bond, one of the terms of Sports Alive obtaining an ACT licence, this would only reimburse a small portion of the online bookmaker's customers who are said to be up for a minimum $1.5 million loss.
The Tasmanian state-owned betting agency TOTE who owns a 25 percent stake in the company is expected to lose in the region of $ 4 million with other key investors also facing huge losses.
Bent and Cougle are reportedly attempting to sell off the Sports Alive client database hoping to recover some monies while Bet247 a separate company that operated through Sports Alive has been taken over by horse racing bookmaker Tom Waterhouse.
With the company valued around $ 15.5 million, based on the valuation TOTE Tasmania put on its stake, and reportedly bringing in profits of $ 4 million in 2008/09 and $ 5 million in 2009/10, an investigation into its meteoric fall is sure to follow.
More information will be revealed on the liquidators' website by the end of this week.