Sportingbet was founded by Mark Blandford in 1997 – just the right time for it to capitalise on the explosion in online betting.
One of Sportingbet’s biggest successes, acquired in 2004, was the online poker room, Paradise Poker. As the Sportingbet brand gained greater recognition, however, a separate online poker offering on the Sportingbet site grew in popularity.
Along with many other international bookmakers, Sportingbet took a hit when US legislation prohibiting online gambling was passed. In 2006, the company was forced to stop accepting US customers on its poker site and it rapidly sold off its US sports betting and casino businesses, accepting millions of dollars of debt in the process.
In 2007, Sportingbet closed Paradise Poker (although it retained the Paradise Poker brand name)and migrated players to its Sportingbet poker platform.
In 2012, Sportingbet announced its board had agreed to initial terms for a £530 million joint takeover by William Hill and GVC Holdings, a company based on the Isle of Man.
In March 2013, William Hill completed its acquisition of the Australian division of the company.
Over recent years, Sportingbet has gained recognition through its sponsorship of various leading English football clubs, among them Wolverhampton Wanderers, Tottenham Hotspur and Leeds United.