William Hill Rehabilitates Australian Centrebet Brand

William Hill’s Australian business announced earlier this week that it has decided to resuscitate the Centrebet brand just shortly after it had brought all its Australian operations under the single William Hill Australia brand.

The major gambling operator relaunched the Centrebet website and a mobile app on Tuesday. The revived operation was re-introduced as one that aimed to bring serious racing bettors under the same roof.

Commenting on the recent relaunch, William Hill Australia Chief Executive Tom Waterhouse said that the Centrebet website is the place where betting customers can find the best price and professionals can get the best bet on.

William Hill, a UK-based gambling operator with decades of presence in the global betting market, acquired the Centrebet, Sportingbet, and Tom Waterhouse brands, all three serving Australian customers, in September 2013. The bookmaker paid more than £450 million for the three operations in a bid to establish itself in a highly lucrative market.

William Hill announced in early 2015 that all three brands would be replaced by the William Hill Australia moniker so as for confusion among customers to be avoided. The Sportingbet business was the first to undergo the planned rebranding. Centrebet was the next to adopt the William Hill Australia name. The Tom Waterhouse brand was scrapped early last year.

The costly branding move was eventually completed only several months ago, so the announcement about Centrebet’s revival came as a bit of a surprise to the gambling community. Although William Hill Australia has not revealed the reason for its most recent decision, it is believed that its bid to create uniformity and gain recognition among Australian customers with the name of its founder has not been as successful an initiative as it had originally hoped.

Revenue from William Hill’s Australian division accounted for 6% of the group’s overall revenue for the first half of 2016. William Hill Australia generated £47.7 million (A$93.2 million) in net revenue during the 26 weeks ended June 28, 2016, down 10% year-on-year. Operating profit totaled £3.9 million (A$7.3 million), down 60% from the £9.8 million (A$19.2 million) reported for the first half of 2015.

It has been announced recently that William Hill Australia will not have courtside exposure during the upcoming Australian Open. In 2015, the gambling operator became the first of its kind to sponsor a Grand Slam tournament. As part of its partnership with Australian Open, the operator was allowed to promote in-play betting offering at courts during the major tennis championship. However, growing concerns over Australian tennis’ relationship with gambling resulted in William Hill Australia losing its brand exposure.

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