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Pullin steps down as CFO of BetMakers

| By Robert Fletcher
BetMakers Technology Group has announced Anthony Pullin has resigned from his role as chief financial officer (CFO) of the sports betting and technology provider.
Zeal board chairman

Pullin will officially step down as CFO on 27 March. He has served in the role at BetMakers since October 2018. 

Prior to joining BetMakers, Pullin worked at businesses outside the gambling sector. These include White Cloud Capital, Duke Street, The Bank of England and KMPG Australia.

BetMakers did not disclose why Pullin had tendered his resignation. However, CEO Jake Henson praised his impact during five and a half years with the provider,

“We thank Anthony for his significant contribution to BetMakers,” Henson said. “Over the past five years, Anthony has been a valued senior team member, adding financial rigour to our business. 

“He leaves BetMakers in a strong position, with the foundations in place for the company to achieve profitability. We wish Anthony all the very best for his future endeavours, where I have no doubt he will be an extremely highly valued team-member.”

Van der Merwe takes interim CFO role

With Pullin set to leave, BetMakers has appointed Warrick van der Merwe as interim CFO. 

Van der Merwe has been group financial controller at BetMakers since August 2021 and previously led the Australian and group financial reporting teams reporting to Pullin.

Before his time with the provider, Van der Merwe worked in finance roles with a range of non-gambling companies. These include Edify Energy, Excite Holidays and, like Pullin, KMPG Australia. 

BetMakers said Van der Merwe will take temporary charge while it seeks a permanent replacement for Pullin.

BetMakers issues update on Punting Form

Alongside the resignation announcement, BetMakers published an update on its Punting Form business. The group acquired ABettorEdge, trading as Punting Form, for AU$20.0m (£10.4m/€12.1m/UA$13.0m) in November 2022.

BetMakers said the sellers of Punting Form have produced North American race and sectional data. These means they have satisfied a “special event” set out in the acquisition deal and are due an additional $3.0m.

The group will make an initial cash payment of $500,000 today (25 March). A residual $2.5m payment will be determined by the board and paid or issued within the next 10 business days.

Punting Form uses proprietary IP and artificial intelligence to create sectional times and benchmarks for horse racing, which are used for time-based ratings systems. Professional wagering syndicates, betting operators, content creators and form analysts use the service.

“This represents the completion of the initial consideration for the Punting Form business,” Henson said. “We are pleased with the development of the product as well as the underlying performance of the business so far. 

“Over the next 12 months BetMakers will further integrate the Punting Form asset into our core offering, including into the NextGen wagering platform.”

Revenue growth amid ongoing restructure in H1

This will come as more good news for BetMakers, which last month reported a 9.9% increase in revenue to $51.3m during H1. This came against a background of ongoing restructuring at the business.

In the first half, BetMakers said it focused on minimising its cost base. This also saw it renew its contracts and the signing of new customers.

Restructuring also allowed BetMakers to work on “streamlining the business model” across three segments – Global Betting Services, Global Tote and Corporate. This led to a drop in headcount from 456 to 414 during the six months.

BetMakers announced the restructuring scheme in May 2023 as a way to reduce costs. 

Star loses CEO and CFO

BetMakers is the second major Australian gambling business to lose a member of its senior team.

Last week, it was announced Robbie Cooke is standing down as group CEO and managing director of Star Entertainment Group with immediate effect. Christina Katsibouba will also exit as chief financial officer.

Cooke and the board consider a leadership change being in the company’s best interests Star explained. Chairman David Foster will take on additional duties as executive chair while a search for a permanent CEO is conducted.

Meanwhile, former Tatts Group CFO Neale O’Connell will be replacing Katsibouba on an interim basis.

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