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nice work if you can get it

Sportsbet, the original sports bookmaker in Australia, was set up in the 1980s by a roguish chap called Bryan Clark. He eventually sold it around 2001 to a firm with suspicious overseas betting links, and pressrue from regulators and bank managers forced them to sell. Enter Matthew Tripp with a $250k cheque in 2005. Six years later and he's rolling in it.

Tripp's big punt on Sportsbet pays off

WHEN Matthew Tripp paid $250,000 for Darwin-based bookmaker Sportsbet in 2005, it was on the edge of bankruptcy and had just eight staff.

Just six years later, Tripp is close to finalising a sale to Irish bookmaker Paddy Power in a deal that values the company at $338 million and will net him about $50m.

"We had one IT guy and a couple of phone operators and that was Sportsbet," Tripp says of the business he took over.

Since then, the company has grown to employ more than 250 staff, some 40 of whom are based in the Northern Territory, where bets must be struck under the terms of the company's gaming licence.


A lot of effort invested in transforming the business, with a very lucrative reward at the end of the rainbow.

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