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Betsson makes €27.5m Holland Gaming acquisition

| By Kyle Goldsmith
Betsson has announced the €27.5m (£23.5m/$29.6m) acquisition of Holland Gaming Technology, a gaming operator with a Netherlands licence, as well as the game studio Holland Power Gaming.
Netherlands Betsson

The deal will increase Betsson’s presence in the Netherlands and will be financed with the group’s own liquid assets.

Made on a cash and debt-free basis, of the €27.5m, €16m will be paid upfront with deferred payments of €9m and €2.5m to come in six months and 12 months respectively.

It previously appeared Betsson was easing its operations in the Netherlands, withdrawing its online gambling licence application for the country in July 2023 due to “significant delays” in the approval process.

This change in strategy, though, will see Holland Power Gaming continue to supply games exclusively for Holland Gaming Technology, which holds a gaming licence for casino in the Netherlands.

In the group’s statement, Betsson said the deal will “contribute to a higher share of revenue from locally regulated markets” and aligns with the company’s plan to “deliver profitable growth through geographic expansion”.

Betsson’s record 2023 results

This move follows Betsson’s announcement of a record 2023, with revenue rocketing by 22% to €948.2m during the year to 31 December 2023.

Over the course of 2023, EBITDA was up 52% to €262.7m from €172.4m in 2022. The EBITDA margin was 27.7%, compared to 22.2% in the prior year.

Betsson also reported operating income (EBIT) of €210.5m, which was up 60% year-on-year. The EBIT margin of 22.2% was an increase on 2022’s 16.9%.

Casino revenue was a big driver of Betsson’s Q4 figures, with casino revenue for the quarter up 25.1% year-on-year to €182.8m, accounting for 72% of group revenue.

Betfirst launches in Belgium

Earlier in February, sports betting and gaming operator Betfirst launched online casino in Belgium having been acquired by Betsson last year.

Betsson purchased the Belgian Betfirst Group in a deal worth €120.0m in June 2023, also striking a deal to partner with Groupe Partouche for access to Belgium’s icasino market.

The new online casino received an A+ casino licence by virtue of its deal with the Middelkerke Casino, with Betfirst looking to become the “country’s leading operator” in online casino.

Betfirst’s foray into igaming comes after it became the first operator to obtain an online betting licence in Belgium following the regulation of the market in 2011.

Further European expansion in Betsson’s plans

The move to add online casino to Betsson’s Belgian offering was anticipated after its partnership with the French casino operator Groupe Partouche.

The partnership was expected to initially focus on Belgium, with the aim to launch in other regulated markets afterwards.

Two of those markets are France and Switzerland, with Groupe Partouche operating land-based casinos in both of those countries. Online casino is legal in Switzerland and, while it is currently illegal in France, there is growing expectation it will be legalised in the near future.

Betsson also secured a licence back in September 2023 to offer online sports betting in France, a move that came after it announced its entrance into the Serbian market earlier in the month.

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