News Corp Australia and Matthew Tripp closing in on FOX Bet launch

News Corp Australia is in advanced discussions with a consortium backed by bookmaker Matthew Tripp to launch a new wagering outfit in the country, according to WA Today.

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Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp is also reportedly in talks with US media group Fox Corp to use the FOX Bet brand for the new business.

Fox Corp was previously interested in establishing the FOX Bet brand in Australia with the help of another wagering company. News Corp last year asked for expressions of interest among Australia’s bookmakers to find a local partner to launch FOX Bet, but industry sources now believe it aims to launch as a standalone outfit with equity partners linked to local online gambling pioneer Matthew Tripp.

On Friday, Tripp fronted a US$4bn (US$3.09bn) bid by wagering technology group BetMakers for Tabcorp’s Wagering and Media business. If the bid is successful, Tripp’s potential involvement in both groups could result in BetMakers taking over FOX Bet and operating the two brands side-by-side, according to industry experts.

Tripp, the former Sportsbet boss and founder of BetEasy, aims to revive TAB by launching a second brand that targets younger customers who are more interested in sports than racing. Tripp helped Sportsbet become the country’s second-largest bookmaker behind TAB, and invested AU$25m in BetMakers in February, joining as a strategic adviser tasked with sourcing major deals.

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