Australia’s Betr Sportsbook Comes up Lame with Melbourne Cup Bettors

Posted on: November 4, 2022, 09:09h. 

Last updated on: November 10, 2022, 01:46h.

Australia’s sports betting brand Betr is a relatively new entry in the market, but has backing from some of the country’s most experienced players. That makes it surprising that the company completely fumbled a recent promotion it launched in conjunction with the Melbourne Cup horse race.

Matt Tripp
Betr CEO Matt Tripp poses beside the sports betting operator’s logo. Betr recently entered the Australian betting market and is already making enemies after allegedly shutting off customer accounts. (Image: The Australian)

Betr boss Matt Tripp has dismissed “rubbish” rumors that the sportsbook avoided payments in its controversial offer of 100-to-1 odds on each horse in this year’s Melbourne Cup. Tripp is a long-time gambling industry insider and entrepreneur who launched the betting platform with the help of Australia’s NewsCorp.

The promotion, which included the heavy favorite, Deauville Legend, almost cost the company millions. Users who signed up to take advantage of the promotion claim Betr closed their accounts so they wouldn’t have to pay out.

When Betr launched the promotion, it seemed like a great way for the nascent sports betting platform to grab customers away from rivals such as Sportsbet. That’s because 100-to-1 odds would be too lucrative to resist.

The response was greater than the company anticipated. When it began crunching the numbers on what it would have to pay, Betr allegedly began turning off accounts.

Limping Out of the Gate

Tripp denies the allegations, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. What was happening, he insists, is that Betr was shutting down duplicate accounts. Tripp claims that less than 1% of the people who signed up were affected by the closures.

That explanation might not hold up. Gambling regulators are now taking a closer look at the company’s marketing stunt and could issue fines. Consumers are also venting their frustration, forcing Betr into damage control mode.

Creating multiple accounts on different online gaming platforms is one thing. Being able to create them on the same platform indicates a lack of adherence to established controls. Australia requires new registrations to verify their identity as with most regulated jurisdictions.

Saved by the Bell

Deauville Legend may have been the favorite, but another horse took the win and gave Betr a break. Gold Trip’s landslide victory meant the sportsbook avoided what could have been a disastrous AU$50 million (US$31.67 million) payout.

Tripp and the rest of the Betr crew could only watch as Deauville Legend appeared to be on track to win the race. If he had, the losses to the sportsbook could have crippled the company.

However, Gold Trip surprised most race fans and took the win. Tripp said the Betr office exploded “like a nightclub.” Corralled in his office watching the race, anxiety gave way to a celebration.

Deauville Legend was behind the leaders with 450 meters left in the race when he started closing the gap. Tripp could only see millions of dollars floating away. The three-year-old gelding finished fourth, saving the company, as most bettors had backed him to win.

When Gold Trip won, so did its owner, Todd Buckingham, in several ways. Buckingham is friends with Tripp and is also the CEO of Betmakers. The company provides the technology Betr uses to run its sports betting operations.