William Hill sold its Australian business to CrownBet for £168m

 
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The business was sold for $300m (Source: Getty)

William Hill has announced a deal to sell its Australian business to CrownBet for 300m Australian dollars (£168m).

The group previously announced in January that it was reviewing the business in light of a crackdown on gambling in the country.

Australia has banned credit betting and could also introduce a point of consumption tax.

The down under business, which operates licensed betting over the telephone, internet and mobile platforms, brought in $201m last year and underlying earnings of $47m.

The deal now has to gain regulatory approval from the authorities, but William Hill is confident that completion will be "timely".

Read more: Here's why most bets on the Super Bowl will be illegal

Australia's crackdown comes at a time when the US could open up its rules. The Supreme Court is currently deliberating an appeal made by the state of New Jersey against the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). This could allow states to legalise sports betting on single games, which is currently only legal in Nevada.

"The disposal will allow William Hill to focus on continuing to grow our UK Online and US businesses, particularly as we prepare for the decision on the PASPA appeal due in 2018," said William Hill's chief executive Philip Bowcock.

Read more: Watchdog berates William Hill for misleading advert

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