Betr averts disaster as Deauville legend fades

Partly owned by News Corp, the new team ran an aggressive marketing campaign for the promotion in October, placing ads in newspapers and websites nationwide.

Gold Trip ridden by jockey Mark Zahra drives past the crowd after winning the Melbourne Cup. PA

As The Australian Financial Review reported, the adverts also caught the attention of the NSW gaming regulator who launched an investigation into whether the promotions breached state inducement laws. It was the start-up’s second day of operation, and the investigation is ongoing.

Australia’s “brothers” didn’t need much encouragement. The promotion led to tens of thousands of new customers signing up for the app. Many are betting $10 on Melbourne Cup favourites, mainly Deauville Legend, with the hope of winning $1,000.

Social media platforms like Twitter and Reddit began to fill with users chanting about the deal and pushing their friends for the promotion in group chats.

Panic began to set in at Betr headquarters last week when the success of the promotion seemed to elude them. Several gaming industry sources have estimated that the start-up is looking at a loss of between $20 million and $50 million if Deauville Legend wins.

Betr executives called their rivals in hopes of betting on the race favorite themselves. The company placed bets on Deauville Legend with Tabcorp which reduced their exposure by approximately $10 million.

Late Monday night, the start-up went a step further by texting customers offering a $150 betting voucher to void their Deauville Legend bets.

Customers thought they had the company over a barrel. “Lol Betr’s withdrawal offer has just been launched,” wrote a wag on Twitter. “Like f*ck off in 7 different dialects (cry face emoji).”

Another had posted a bundle of photoshopped prank Halloween costumes with the company logo: “ADULT-sized costume: A dead bookmaker.”

The gambling start-up may still have lost money during the carnival, forced to pay large sums linked to promotional odds.

But the gaming industry is all about acquiring customers. And on that front, Betr and Gold Trip seem to have had the last laugh.