SportPesa moves into Italy through RCS Gaming deal
SportPesa, the Kenya-based sports betting operator, has entered the Italian market through its acquisition of a majority stake in in RCS Gaming.
SportPesa, the shirt sponsor of English Premier League club Everton, has bought a 75% interest in RCS, the gaming division of media giant RCS Media Group, which operates major European publications such as Italy’s La Gazzetta dello Sport, and Spain’s Marca and El Mundo.
It is believed that the RCS Gaming site GazzaBet will be rebranded to SportPesa.
Adam Beighton, the newly-appointed chairman of the company in Italy, said the acquisition of RCS Gaming will enable rapid expansion in the market.
“This acquisition also presents new opportunities to showcase to our current and future customers the SportPesa culture,” Beighton said.
SportPesa, which recently entered the Tanzanian market, also has operations in South Africa, Isle of Man and the UK.
It recently said it has no plans to withdraw from the Kenyan market, despite reports suggesting that the online gaming firm could exit the country in response to a sharp increase in the gambling tax rate.
Its move into the Italian market comes in the same week that iGaming Business reported that the regulated igaming market in Italy generated €575m in H1 2017.
Italy is on track to break through the €1bn barrier for the first time in 2017, according to estimates exclusively provided to iGaming Business by leading gaming sector advisory firm Ficom Leisure.
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