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Flutter completes Tombola acquisition

| By Marese O'Hagan
Online gaming giant Flutter has concluded its acquisition of bingo operator Tombola, completing an all-cash transaction of £402m (€479m/$543m) after all regulatory terms were agreed.

The acquisition was first announced in November 2021, with Flutter explaining that the addition of Tombola to its portfolio strengthened its position in the bingo vertical, an area where the operator has traditionally been weaker.

Tombola has been operating in the UK for 16 years and has an estimated 400,000 players per month, and has since expanded into Italy and Spain. It has also been an early adopter of enhanced player protection efforts, among the first to roll out mandatory staking and deposit limits.

In September the operator was announced as one of ten to receive Dutch online gaming licences in the Netherlands, ahead of the market opening on 1 October.

In the same month Tombola joined the Netherlands Online Gambling Association, an advocate group for responsible gambling in the Netherlands. Alongside Tombola, the most prominent licensees included Bet365, Holland Casino and Netherlands state lottery Nederlandse Loterij.

“Tombola is a business we have long admired for its product expertise, highly recreational customer base and focus on sustainable play,” said Flutter’s chief executive Peter Jackson when the acquisition was first announced.

“I am excited to combine Flutter’s digital marketing expertise with Tombola’s operational capabilities within the UK and Ireland division.”

Last month Flutter announced it was to add another brand to its portfolio, striking a deal to acquire Italy’s Sisal for €1.91bn (£1.62bn/$2.20bn). The deal is set to close in Q2 2022.

Sisal is currently one of four operators bidding for the fourth UK National Lottery Licence, against Sazka Group, Sugal & Damani and Camelot and also operates Italy’s national lottery.

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