Market Spotlight: Australia
In our latest regular Market Spotlight feature, we look at Australia, a unique and evolving market that has seen significant growth online.
Our Australian business was launched in 2011 and operates exclusively online under the Ladbrokes, Neds, Bookmaker and Betstar brands. With just under 40% (9.9 million) of Australia’s population classifying themselves as regular gamblers, we have a c.16% digital market share in the country, making us the third largest overall player.
The market for betting on racing and sports has grown rapidly in recent years, with revenues across the entire gambling market in Australia – both online and retail – growing by 36% (the equivalent of an extra $1.7bn) between 2020 and 2021, matching a level of growth which had taken the previous seven years to achieve. Driven in part by the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of customers who chose to carry out their betting activity online also skyrocketed. As a business with an online-only platform in Australia, we have a unique opportunity to capitalise on this fundamental trend shift in the market.
Australia’s media landscape is highly fragmented, making it increasingly difficult to reach the targeted audience. In order to capitalise on the shift to online wagering, we have therefore developed a strategy to build our own audience via dynamic content, with the overarching aims of educating, engaging and entertaining viewers.
WATCH: Take a look into Australia's best race with Ladbrokes
The major racing codes (greyhounds, thoroughbreds and harness racing) have grown in popularity in recent years – with interest peaking during lockdown restrictions in Australia, as race activity, unlike the traditionally popular AFL and NRL, continued unabated. Much of our content strategy has focused on racing with recent examples of our work including Ladbrokes’ Deep Dives on ‘The Race That Stops a Nation’, the Melbourne Cup, and the Ladbrokes Cox Plate. We also work with Peter Moody, one of Australia’s major racing trainers and personalities, on a podcast called ‘Moody on the Mic’. The average reach of this show is over 2.5 million people per episode, with some episodes reaching 4.5 million viewers (c.18% of the adult population of Australia).
To further support our racing-content, we have recently signed an exclusive agreement with champion jockey Glen Boss, who has joined our team. Boss, who has won 90 Group One races, including four Cox Plates and three Melbourne Cups, retired from racing following his last race on Saturday 27th November, where he rode Spanish Mission, which ran third in this year’s Melbourne Cup. Despite numerous other offers, Boss chose Entain Australia because of our innovative content and efforts to boost interest in the racing industry.
Ladbrokes and Neds, Entain Australia’s two leading online brands, are the subjects of a differentiated dual brand strategy. Ladbrokes is the flagship brand in Australia and this year featured a new advertising campaign which featured none other than Hollywood A-lister Mark Wahlberg. As the younger brand, Neds also continues to grow at pace with its success driven, in part, through innovative partnerships, including with the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) where Neds is the exclusive wagering partner of the sport in the Australian market. Recently, the brand has also partnered with A-leagues, the highest-level professional men’s and women’s soccer leagues in Australia and New Zealand.
WATCH: The Melbourne Cup at first sight with Ladbrokes
Across the Australian business there is a clear commitment to sustainability and player protection. Its Punter Assist set of management tools, launched in March 2020, is considered market leading, with customers provided with a one-stop shop suite of features. With the ability to set deposit limits, set personal curfews for activity, set a session timer, or choose what type of deposit methods are available to them, amongst many other features, customers are given the ability and flexibility to manage their account in a way that best suits them.
The ultimate key to our success, though, is the importance placed on customer centricity. We are excited to be undertaking significant organisational evolution in this area, including the recent appointment of Adam Geneave as our Chief Customer Officer. Adam joins Entain as a seasoned senior executive with vast experience in transformation and customer experience roles. He has led significant customer-focused programs and has been rewarded for his efforts with multiple international awards. Adam’s arrival is one of many initiatives pioneered by Entain Australia CEO Dean Shannon as he continues, through investment and cultural change, to centre the business around the customer, a strategy that is clearly paying dividends as Entain Australia continues to gain market share.
“The Australian market is a mature and highly-competitive market, and we have a very clear strategy for growth,” Dean Shannon said. “We have been encouraged by the early success of our content strategy in growing an organic and highly-engaged audience and we are confident with some of the exciting initiatives we have planned in 2022 that we will continue to win market share.”