Former William Hill Australia chief executive Michael Sullivan is looking to take on his former employers and other rivals with the launch of BlueBet, a new sports and horse race betting brand.
Sullivan believes that the influx of UK bookmakers to the Australian market, which has seen the likes of bet365, Ladbrokes and most notably William Hill dominate the market, will be unable to offer the level of personalised service that customers require.
As a result he has launched a track-side betting product alongside a new online betting site, BlueBet.com.au, as part of his drive to build the business.
The launch of BlueBet marks Sullivan’s return to the gambling market after leaving his role as CEO of William Hill Australia in July last year. He departed following a review of the division’s management, which saw Tom Waterhouse take charge of the business.
He had worked for Sportingbet since 2002, when the bookmaker first established itself in Australia’s Northern Territory, then took charge of Centrebet after it was acquired in 2011.
Following the acquisition of Sportingbet and Centrebet by William Hill in 2012, he transferred to the London-listed bookmaker.
“Back when we started Sportingbet in Australia in 2002, we really gave punters an experience they hadn’t been exposed to before and we will be servicing all punters in the new business whether they bet in $1 or $100,000,” he said of his new venture.
Sullivan also called for new limits on gambling advertising during the broadcast of live sport, criticising the prevalence of UK sports betting brands.
“Watching sport is Australia’s favourite hobby and I really don’t think it needs to be littered with ads from all these pommy bookmakers," he said.
“I said the same thing when I was CEO of Sportingbet and I really think some self regulation so Australians can watch sport without been bombarded with betting offers is a good idea,” Sullivan explained.