Minter Ellison takes a gamble with Betcorp sale mandate

Australian firm Minter Ellison has cast aside market pressure to advise online gaming company Betcorp on the £4.8m sale of its operations to Bodog Entertainment.

The Australian firm has continued to represent the online gaming company despite UK firms such as Allen & Overy, Herbert Smith and Slaughter May having shunned the sector in the wake of the US clampdown on internet gambling (www.the lawyer.com, 9 October).

Minter Ellison corporate partner Nicholas Broome, who led the advice on the sale, said the firm would continue to represent clients in the online gaming sector as long as they had no US operations.

The firm has acted for Betcorp since its listing on AIM and the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) three years ago. Norton Rose has also represented Betcorp in the UK, but no longer had a relationship with the company prior to the listing.

Despite being listed on AIM and the ASX, the US accounted for more than 85 per cent of Betcorp’s revenue.

The sale of its operations comes after that of Sportingbet earlier this month, which sold its US operations for $1 (54p) and $13.2m (£7.09m) of liabilities.

Minter Ellison will, however, not have an ongoing relationship with Bodog, a Costa Rican-headquartered online betting company.

“Bodog will use Betcorp’s platform to get into Europe, but it doesn’t have any real Australian presence,” said Broome.

Bodog used in-house lawyers for the acquisition.