Sad news today of an Australian sports bookmaker going bust. The Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) website shows that liquidators have been appointed for SportsAlive.
Should SportsAlive have adhered to their licensing conditions, specifically the one below, then all should be fine for punters. However, it sounds like a few guys have been slow paid for a while (this year's not the first time they've had cash flow problems) so it may be that one of them got fed up with it and called in the lawyers. Staff apparently hadn't been paid for a fortnight either.
4. Segregated Bank Accounts
4.1 A sports bookmaker must, for the purposes of the sports bookmaking
business, maintain a segregated sports betting bank account for the
purpose of betting monies received.
For full details of the ACT legislation, where SportsAlive were licensed, click here.
This is a critical test of the strength of Australian bookmaking regulations. Hopefully it won't be long before all punters are paid out in full.
Betfair customers in Australia used SportsAlive for their fixed-odds multiples on Aus sports. No liability is on Betfair as their client funds were always separate, but whether their reputation by association takes a hit is another matter.
Sports Alive previously traded as Sports Acumen and Global SportsBet before various ownership and name changes.
Update - 3pm:
Apparently the business was worth $20m and had made profits of $4-5m over the past two years. That doesn't correlate to the fact they were slow-paying punters late last year as well...
Pair hit as Sports Alive dies
MICK Malthouse's manager, Peter Sidwell, will be one of the biggest losers from the collapse of corporate betting shop Sports Alive.
Sidwell is one of a number of private investors, also including well-known Warrnambool bookmaker Gary Walsh, anxiously awaiting a report from a liquidator appointed to Sports Alive late on Thursday.
The Herald Sun learned Mr Walsh stands to lose more than $500,000 and Mr Sidwell at least as much. Mr Sidwell did not return calls from the Herald Sun and Mr Walsh did not comment.
Tasmania's TAB - Tote Tasmania - has lost a $5 million investment for a 25 per cent share in Sports Alive.
Punters also stand to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Although the company's licence with the Australian Capital Territory Government required a security bond of $250,000, that amount is expected to fall well short of what is owed to account holders.
Considering the number of UK bookies sniffing around Australian operators over the last few years, the situation must have been desperate if none were prepared to purchase this firm. It was rumoured that 888Sport looked at a joint venture a few years ago but it didn't go ahead due to 888's gaming ventures and conflict with Australian law.