GVC Holdings has unveiled its new Chief Operating Officer (CEO) for its Australian operations. Dean Shannon replaced Jason Scott as the CEO of GVC’s operations in Australia.
Shannon comes to the table with a wealth of gambling experience. He was the CEO and Founder of Dotcom Internet P/L from 2000-2014, an online gambling affiliate. Shannon also funded Panda Gaming an online wagering affiliate business specialising in the Australian market.
In 2012, he founded Boomaker.com.au, an online racing and sports bookmaker. Shannon sold Boomaker.com.au to Ladbrokes PLC in September 2013. Ladbrokes Australian appointed Shannon as CEO, a role he stayed until May 2017 when he left to start a new company.
Shannon’s Dealings With GVC
Neds was that company, another sports betting site aimed at Australians. It flourished under Shannon’s guidance and is still up and running today. GVC Holdings, now owners of Ladbrokes Coral, acquired Neds in November 2018 for an initial $68 million. The eventual fee could rise to $95 million based on the company’s performance.
Shannon was already a Non-Executive Director and consultant to GVC Holdings in Australia following the sale of Neds. Now he has hold of the reigns on the entire Australian operations.
“I am truly excited to be leading GVC’s Australian businesses,”, said Shannon. “I believe in Ladbrokes and Neds we have two of the leading brands in the market and, backed by our proprietary technology and highly talented team, we are very well placed for growth.”
Kenny Alexander, CEO of GVC Holdings, spoke of Shannon’s appointment. “We are delighted to announce Dean’s appointment. He is highly dynamic, experienced leader with the entrepreneurial skills that will drive our Australian business to even greater success in the future.” Furthermore, Alexander added, “I’d also like to put on record my thanks to Jason Scott for the job he has done in establishing the group as a market leader in Australia.”
Shannon’s Love of Gambling
Shannon’s bookmaking career started in the early 1990s as an on-course bookie. He is a massive horse racing fan who has owned and bred horses from his Montana Park equestrian centre. Harness racing is where Shannon’s expertise shines through.
His best horse is Star of Montana that won six races and placed eight times last season. The four-year-old has a 39 percent win percentage and a 60 percent place percentage.
About GVC Holdings
Exceptional growth is one way to describe the past few years for GVC Holdings. It was founded in 2004 in Luxembourg as Gaming VC Holdings before rebranding to GVC Holdings in 2010.
GVC had the opportunity to enter the Australian market in 2012 when it and William Hill bought Sportingbet. William Hill, however, claimed the Australian and Spanish markets, with GVC taking the rest of the world.
With Alexander at the helm, GVC acquired bwin.party digital entertainment plc in 2016 in a £1.1 billion reverse takeover. The acquisition came after a long bidding war with 888 Holdings. The former bwin.party products have returned to significant growth after several years of decline.
partypoker, one of the brands acquired by GVC, pulled out of the Australian market on August 31, 2017. The online poker site cited the “imminent” change in Australian gambling law with the introduction of the Interactive Gambling Amendment Act.
GVC acquired Ladbrokes Coral in 2017 in a deal worth up to GBP£4 billion. Ladbrokes and Coral merged prior to the sale in a GBP £2.3 billion deal.
How is the Australian Business Functioning?
Things look positive for GVC in Australia. Its last financial figures showed a 17 percent increase in Net Gaming Revenue (NGR). Sports wagers also increase by 20 percent. Both these figures will increase again this year with the acquisition of Neds. The company did report to investors that the hike in the point of consumption tax will eat into profits.