Crownbet Rebrand Blocked as Court Agrees with Sportsbet
Online betting site Crownbet has been banned temporarily from pushing forward with its plan to change its name to Sportingbet. The Federal Court of Australia recently ruled that this name change would potentially affect its competitor’s brand, Sportsbet. This name change was supposed to take place by the end of the month.
Injunction granted for Sportsbet
The federal court agreed with Sportsbet that there is a possibility the name change would likely confuse its customers, and make it harder for them to accurately distinguish one company from the other.
The court injunction bars Crownbet from officially rebranding to Sportingbet.
The court hearing states that the change in name would result in the consumers finding it hard to tell the difference between Sportsbet and Sportingbet. It also said that this name change would likely affect the customer’s chances of finding Sportsbet in the event that they conduct a URL search on the Internet, as well as while trying to reach Sportsbet’s online platform.
Reasons for Crownbet’s rebrand
There have been reports claiming that Crownbet was looking to change its name from its current one in a bid to separate itself from its former majority shareholder, Crown Resorts Ltd. Last December, the Australian casino operator sold its stake in Crownbet on the condition that Crownbet would stop using its current name by August of this year. Meanwhile, Crownbet also won the bid to take troubled William Hill with the agreement, and the company was told it would have to stop using that name once it took over the business.
In its efforts to rebrand, Crownbet, through the Securities and Investment Commission, filed for a change of company name. It reserved the name Sportingbet Pty. Ltd.
The court pointed out that Sportsbet had already invested heavily in its brand marketing campaign, and as a result, its name is highly recognizable in Australia. The court hearing stated that Sportsbet was accusing Crownbet of engaging in conduct that will possibly lead to the customers being misled or deceived in the course of trade. Sportsbet also accused Crownbet of infringing on its brand’s trademarks.
The well-received decision
In its official statement, a spokesperson for Sportsbet congratulated the decision, stating that it has shown that the court was equally concerned with the possibility of customers being deceived into thinking that the services offered under the proposed Sportingbet brand and Sportsbet are in some way associated.
The spokesperson reiterated that Sportsbet will be taking all the necessary legal precautions to secure its brand.
In response to the injunction, Crownbet has stated it would be going through the order and looking into its next course of action. It is still not clear if the company would be appealing the ruling or deciding on a new name.
The acquisition of William Hill Australia by Crownbet and the subsequent Stars Group’s acquisition of Crownbet will form a corporate bookmaker that would be the third largest in Australia behind Tabcorp and Sportsbet.
Crown Resorts Ltd. sold its stake at Crownbet to the Stars Group in a transaction that was completed in all cash. The group collaborated with other Crownbet shareholders to facilitate the completion of the acquisition. Among the shareholders who took part in this process was Matthew Tripp, who was the chief executive officer and founder of Crownbet. Tripp will remain as the chief executive officer of Crownbet, and oversee its Australian operations.
Australia is the second largest regulated market in the world. The betting market in the country has expanded by 10 percent in the last year, which creates a highly competitive environment.
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