Mon | Sep 23, 2019

Supreme Ventures acquires main sports betting rival Any Bet

Published:Wednesday | May 8, 2019 | 12:12 AMSteven Jackson/ - Senior Business Reporter
President and CEO of Supreme Ventures Limited, Ann-Dawn Young Sang.
President and CEO of Supreme Ventures Limited, Ann-Dawn Young Sang.

Gaming conglomerate Supreme Ventures Limited, SVL, is acquiring Jamaica’s largest sports bookmaker, Any Bet, which would result in SVL controlling around 90 per cent of the market.

Any Bet is the trading name for Post to Post Betting Limited and is operated by Post to Post Holdings Limited. The company has signed a letter of intent with SVL to sell majority interest to the gaming company, which operates rival sports-betting game JustBet.

No other terms of the agreement were disclosed. The deal is expected to close in June.

“It would be an acquisition of shares, and we will not be doing any rebranding,” said a manager at Post to Post Betting, who otherwise declined to comment until next month. That’s when, according to a market filing at the weekend, the parties “intend to finalise and execute a final agreement”.

SVL is the leading player in the lottery-gaming market owner of Jamaica’s only horse-racing track, Caymanas Park, which it acquired from the Jamaican government in 2017. But its dominance does not carry into the bookmaking market.

Bookmakers take bets for events such as horse racing, simulcast racing and other sports such as football and NBA games. They then pay betters according to their odds.

Post to Post Betting controls some 73 per cent of the bookmaking market, based on sales, according to data published by regulator Betting, Gaming and Lotteries Commission, BGLC, in its annual report for the year ending March 2017.

Post to Post Betting is owned by three families. The shareholders include Albert Chow, Lloyd Hoo Mook, Natasha Hoo Mook, Icilda Hoo Mook, Natalia Hoo Mook, Alexander Chin and Rodney Chin, according to Companies Office of Jamaica records.

PREVIOUS MERGER

Post to Post resulted from the merger of Jamaica’s largest bookmaking companies – Champion Betting, Track Price Plus Limited and Markham Betting – in 2013. At the time, the three firms operated over 188 betting shops across Jamaica.

SVL, which is a publicly traded company, holds about 19 per cent of the bookmaking market through its wholly owned subsidiary Prime Sports, based on the BGLC data.

The Financial Gleaner was unable to reach SVL president and CEO Ann-Dawn Young Sang for comment.

Last year, SVL’s sport-betting segment made $248 million in revenue. Over the past two years, the segment has averaged 6.7 per cent of total SVL revenues, based on SVL’s 2018 audited results.

PROFIT

In the first quarter ending March 2019, Supreme Ventures made $621 million in after-tax profit on $9.3 billion of revenue. Sports betting contributed one per cent, or $87 million, to total sales in the quarter.

Jamaica’s main bookmakers in 2017 were Post to Post Betting/Any Bet, Prime Sports Jamaica/JustBet, Capital Betting & Wagering Limited, Ideal Betting Company, Island Bet and Jamozzie/BetCris. The six companies generated $4.93 billion in total sales for the fiscal year.

The BGLC annual report also referenced two other players, for which there was no sales data: Summit, which had been non-operational for two years at the time of report; and Olympic Sports Data Services, whose sales were not included in BGLC’s industry highlights as it operates within the Montego Bay Free Zone.

Any Bet led the market with $3.64 billion, followed by Just Bet at $611 million, Island Bet at $260 million, Jamozzie/BetCris at $183.7 million, Ideal at $170.1 million and Capital Betting at $70 million.

steven.jackson@gleanerjm.com