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LeoVegas targets Spanish launch in Q1 2019

| By iGB Editorial Team
Gambling operator has applied for casino and sports betting licences to enlarge regulated market footprint

LeoVegas has set its sights on launching in the regulated Spanish market during the first quarter of next year after applying for both casino and sports betting licences in the country.

The online and mobile gambling operator already holds licences in Malta, the UK, Denmark, Italy and Ireland, while the company was named among the first recipients of new licences in Sweden last month.

LeoVegas is now looking to build on this with expansion into Spain, something first revealed to iGamingBusiness.com in August.

“We are now taking the next step on our global expansion journey and apply for our first licence in a Spanish-speaking country, Spain,” LeoVegas group chief executive Gustaf Hagman said.

“Spain is one of the fastest growing markets in Europe. Through our technology and experience, we can effectively adapt our business to regulated markets regardless of language and regulations,” Hagman explained. “Therefore, we expect to launch in Spain already in the first quarter of 2019.”

Gross gaming revenue in the Spanish online gaming market increased 29.9% year-on-year in the third quarter, amounting to €181.1m (£162.3m/$204.5m). Much of this was down to growth in the sports betting sector, boosted by the 2018 Fifa World Cup.

LeoVegas has placed a greater focus on sports betting in recent times, launching a new sportsbook brand in the UK in August. BetUK, a casino-only site when acquired from IPS as part of a £65m deal earlier this year, has been developed into a multi-vertical brand.

The company has also spoken to iGamingBusiness.com about its expansion ambitions for the US, but added that it would maintain a watching brief for the time being.

The operator's expansion plans follow a period of rapid growth, with LeoVegas last month announcing a 41% year-on-year increase in revenue to €78.6m in the third quarter. Depositing customers rocketed 57% in the period to a record 318,189.

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