Stake Crypto Billionaires Boost Stake In PointsBet

Easygo Gaming upped its minority position in PointsBet from 4.2% to more than 5% which represents 16 million shares.

Grant Leonard - News Editor at Covers.com
Grant Leonard • News Editor
Jun 3, 2024 • 16:20 ET • 4 min read
Stake
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

Australian entrepreneurs Ed Craven and Bijan Tehrani, founders of Stake.com, a cryptocurrency casino operating in the gray market, have upped their stake in another sports betting company.

The makeup of PointsBet has undergone significant changes in the last few years. Fanatics acquired the Australia-based operator’s U.S. business and recently completed that transition with its launch in the Illinois sports betting market.

Now, PointsBet’s shareholder group will have a slightly different makeup. Easygo Gaming - a Melbourne-based gaming software company - upped its minority position in PointsBet from 4.2% to more than 5% which represents 16 million shares. Craven and Tehrani started Easygo in 2016 and have recently been amassing their PointsBet position through that vehicle. 

Easygo operates Stake.com, an online casino and sports betting site that sees more than 30 billion bets per year. Stake.com technically operates in the gray market; it’s safer than a black-market counterpart, but it is not licensed and regulated like the main operators in states with legal sports betting or the casino gaming industry are. 

Potential motives 

Stake.com is a premier sponsor for the Stake F1 Team, and you can see its logo buzzing around the Formula 1 track on the cars of Valtteri Bottas and Guanyu Zhou.  

Craven and Tehrani have also been linked to takeovers in the legal sports betting space before when they kicked the tires on Rush Street Interactive last year. 

The pair has not outright mentioned any intentions of fully acquiring PointsBet through majority control, or if they’ll become activist investors trying to steer the direction of the company more directly. 

PointsBet is still a major player in the Australia legal sports betting industry, and also retained its Canadian operations despite shuttering in the U.S. over the past year. 

The catch

Australians technically cannot legally play any of Stake.com’s games because customers bet with cryptocurrency on the platform. 

Craven and Tehrani are perhaps signaling intention to grow within the regulated sports betting industry in Australia despite the fact they have yet to receive a gambling license from the Northern Territory Racing Commission. 

This is the latest move in a series of high-profile actions to better validate the brand’s legitimacy, it seems. In 2022, Stake.com signed hip hop icon Drake as a brand ambassador, and also holds a sponsorship deal with Everton of the English Premier League. 

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