Nairobi-based BetLion brings new local talent and a highly localised front-end, supported by a bespoke product and platform to 888Africa.
It currently holds licences in Kenya, Zambia and the Democratic Republic of Congo. This helps further scale 888’s African business as well as adding more than three million registered customers, the operator said.
“This acquisition is a critical step as we aim to create truly unique betting and gaming experiences to players across Africa,” 888Africa chief executive Christopher Coyne commented. “The talent and technology at BetLion is perfectly suited to our growth model and ambitions and will help to further strengthen our offering as we look to build market-leading positions across Africa.
“We also look forward to working with our new colleagues and introducing new customers to our local brands.”
BetLion’s industry heritage
Victor Chandler established BetLion in 2017, three years after leaving the business now known as BVGroup, targeting the East African region.
It offers high-quality, low data and mobile-first betting and igaming to customers, using a bespoke front-end solution and FSB’s sportsbook technology.
888Africa is “a business with huge ambitions on the continent”, according to BetLion managing director Robert Chirchir.
“We’re delighted to be getting involved in its exciting growth journey and supporting its expansion through our market-leading front-end software and platform and established licences across the region,” he said. “We look forward to working more closely with the team and continuing to delight customers with our joint offer.”
888’s African joint venture
BetLion’s three million customers further strengthens 888Africa’s presence on the continent.
Launched in March 2022 as a joint venture between 888 and a group of industry veterans, it currently operates in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique and Zambia.
888 holds a minority stake in the business and receives a licence fee to use and operate brands such as 888Bet in Africa.
Former Stars Group CMO Coyne leads the business as CEO, alongside Stars’ sportsbook managing director Andrew Lee and trading director Ian Marmion. Helen Scott-Allen, former CFO at Premier Bet and ex-Editec chief product officer Alex Rutherford round out the management team.
While 888 currently owns a minority stake, it has an option to increase its holding and ultimately buy the business outright.