Betsson to enter Belgium with acquisition of Betfirst Group

Betsson aims to add online casino through a partnership with Partouche.
Betsson aims to add online casino through a partnership with Partouche.

It’s also entered into an online casino deal with France’s Groupe Partouche.

Belgium.- Stockholm-based Betsson has announced that it will buy the Belgian sports betting and gaming operator Betfirst Group for €120m. It’s also reached a deal to partner with Groupe Partouche to offer online casino in the country

The deal will give Betsson one of the biggest presences in Belgium’s online gambling market. Betfirst was founded in 2011 and has licences for online sports betting and dice games. It also runs around 450 retail points of sale and a land-based gaming hall. It posted gaming revenue of €51.2m and adjusted EBITDA of €10m for the year ending December 31.

Betsson will pay €117m up front for all shares in the company, followed by €3m depending on agreed financial targets. It expects to close the acquisition on around July 5 and will continue to operate Betfirst’s sports betting business while it analyses possible synergies for the mid-to-long term.

Partouche deal

Meanwhile, Betsson will also be able to add online casino to its offering in Belgium thanks to a new partnership with France’s Groupe Partouche. The French operator has an offline casino licence in Belgium, which it is able to extend to an online casino licence. A collaboration would allow Betsson to offer a complete set of online gambling products.

It aims to launch this year subject to licensing. Groupe Partouche has land-based casinos in France and Switzerland, and Betsson says the companies may look to expand their partnership to other markets.

Betsson chief executive and president Pontus Lindwall said: “We are very excited about entering the Belgian market together with our partners Groupe Partouche and see a strong strategic fit with the acquisition of Betfirst.

“At Betsson, our growth strategy revolves around extending our presence into new markets, particularly in locally regulated or soon-to-be regulated markets. Belgium, where the online gaming market is regulated since 2011, aligns very well with this strategy. 

“Our business model is highly scalable, and these initiatives will add revenue and strengthen our profitability over time.”

Betsson has been growing rapidly, reporting record full-year revenue of €777.2m in 2022, up 18 per cent year-on-year. Net profit rose 10 per cent to €114.7m and EBITDA 12 per cent to €172.4m. Recent acquisitions have included the sportsbook supplier Kickertech in October and Inkabet’s B2C Latin American sportsbook and casino business.

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