888 sells Latvian online gaming assets to Paf

888 acquired Mr Green and William Hill from Caesars.
888 acquired Mr Green and William Hill from Caesars.

Paf has bought 888’s Mr Green and William Hill in Latvia.

Latvia.- The UK-listed gambling operator 888 Holdings has sold two former William Hill brands to Paf in Latvia. The deal covers the operations and licences of the Latvian sites MrGreen.lv and WilliamHill.lv. Paf says it will keep the brand names and that customers will see no immediate changes.

Paf is owned by the regional government of Finland’s Åland Islands. As a state-owned company, it has a strict focus on responsible gaming measures. It has been present in Latvia since 2018, and this acquisition will make it the Baltic nation’s third-biggest online gambling operator.

Paf had already announced plans to open an office in the capital Riga, where it expects to employ 20 people. It expects to complete its purchase of 888’s assets next month. In 2022, the Latvian businesses generate net revenues of £9m and EBITDA of £2.5m.

Paf CEO Christer Fahlstedt said in a statement: “For Paf, this is a good long-term investment in the Latvian market. We have been operating there since 2018 and we aim to build a stable position in the market.”

He added: “The gaming sites’ current customers will not notice any difference directly when we take over the business. For Paf, it also means that we will have a new office in Riga where more than twenty employees will become a part of Paf.”

For 888, the move comes amid an ongoing strategic review that followed its acquisition of William Hill’s European assets from Caesars, a move that left it with substantial debts. It said it will receive €24m upfront from Paf and potentially up to €4.3m in earn-out rewards.

888 chairman Lord Mendelsohn said: “We continually review our asset base to ensure that we are only holding assets that both contribute to our long-term strategy and will maximise value for our shareholders.

“As a business, our relatively limited exposure in the Baltic region means that the region is not one of our core or growth markets where we prioritise our investments”.

Last month, Paf announced that it will slash its annual mandatory loss limit for players aged over 24 from €20,000 to €17,500. Meanwhile, the limit for players aged 18 and 19 will be reduced by 82 per cent from €10,000 to €1,800 per year.  

Players aged 20-24 will retain the current loss limit of €10,000, which was announced in October. Before that change, the limit had been the same as for those over 24.

See also: Itai Pazner steps down as 888 CEO

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