There are many online opportunities where punters can bet on the result of football and racing events, but TopBetta is the only one in Australia where punters can bet against each other – and not the house – in a tournament.
TopBetta is the brainchild of Newcastle-based sports agent Todd Buckingham and his team, who devised the idea after participating in online poker tournaments.
“I’d played a bit of poker online and I thought, well if they get $50 million or so into the prize pool – and poker is not a mainstream sport – then what could you get for other sports like football,” says Buckingham.
“I thought that if you used the same tournament structure for poker on other sports, then you might get some traction.”
TopBetta was launched in the middle of 2011, so has been “live” for about a year now. Around 1000 people each month log in to play and the turnover is up to around $100,000 each month.
Punters can bet on horse racing, trotting, greyhounds, rugby union and league, AFL and tennis.
“TopBetta is basically a social gaming platform, so our next step will be a Facebook connection, where people will be able to log into our site using Facebook,” says Buckingham.
“From there they will be able to access free versions of tournaments and from there they can move into the paid tournaments.”
In terms of growth, TopBetta has plans to “white label” its platform to sporting clubs and organisations, so friends and team-mates will be able to play self-contained tournaments against each other betting on a range of sporting events.
“The idea is that people will be able to use our platform to run their own branded tournaments,” says Todd Buckingham.
“We are also making mobile apps for androids and iPhones, and they will be able to accommodate various promotions for events, such as State of Origin rugby league.
“And we have a program implemented where people can create their own tournaments using our website, so that will enable us to reach into some international markets.”
In addition to these developments, Buckingham says TopBetta is close to signing off on a deal with an international company for a fully branded site overseas.
“That would be on a licence arrangement, so it would give us good annuity income,” says Buckingham.
For the future, Buckingham says the most likely exit plan for TopBetta is a trade sale to another industry player “within the next two or three years.”
“We are working on a lot of things, and if they all come to fruition then we might be in a position to do an IPO but I think a trade sale is more likely.”
To know more about TopBetta, please click here.