Matt Tripp's upstart online wagering firm,, has beaten bigger and more established rivals to become the AFL's official betting partner for the next five years.

However, is understood to have paid a big price for the deal, shelling out nearly $10 million annually for the term of the contract from the 2015 season.

Tabcorp's TAB previously held the AFL rights, which includes finals and the Brownlow Medal, and went close to winning the next deal.

However, Tabcorp declined to meet's winning bid, which also beat the likes of and William Hill Australia.

The deal is the first big win for Mr Tripp. He bought the former in March after leaving 12 months earlier following its sale to Irish giant Paddy Power.

"It shows we're very serious and we're here to stay and we're delighted to align ourselves with what we think is Australia's biggest sport," Mr Tripp, a member of the BRW Young Rich list said. "We beat out some of the big European wagering firms and I think that is important to note. All our profits will stay here in Australia, so I hope punters will come to us for that reason."

The deal means will gain some signage at AFL games as well as advertising on the AFL website and other digital platforms. It declined for now to pay for AFL matches to be streamed via its website, which the TAB undertook for part of the 2014 season. also gains first rights to negotiating separate sponsorship arrangements with AFL broadcasters Seven West Media and Foxtel. It is understood to be keen to negotiate a deal with Seven, giving it a free-to-air presence across Australia.

The value of that deal combined with the direct contract with the AFL could take's spending on the sport to about $20 million. Rival pays Nine Entertainment Co about $10 million annually as broadcast partner for NRL matches.

Mr Tripp said would also be a sponsor for Nine's cricket World Cup coverage in February and March and look for other sports properties.

"We think there are lots of opportunities across sports, be it sponsorship or otherwise," he said. "We sponsored the Masters golf recently and that went well for us, so we are actively looking for other opportunities."

"We've also just had a really good [horse racing] spring carnival and have picked up more than 100,000 active customers and we now have about 200 staff. So we are serious about being the only Australian-owned entity in this space."

Mr Tripp, 41, made his $122 million fortune from the sale.

However, he said he wanted to maintain ownership of in the long term, positioning it as the only major Australian-owned bookmaker, along with the listed ­Tabcorp and Tatts Group, with overseas operators such as Paddy Power, William Hill and dominating the corporate or online ­bookmaker scene.

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