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GVC strikes deal to acquire Portugual’s Bet.pt

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Ladbrokes and Coral owner, GVC Group, has agreed to acquire Portuguese-facing online operator, Bet.pt with a view to expanding its business across the Iberian Peninsula.

Bet.pt was one of the earliest entrants to the Portuguese regulated market, obtaining its sports-betting license in 2016 and a casino license in 2017.

The market is growing rapidly, with revenue expected to more than double to around €450m (£408m/$529m) by 2023.

GVC described Bet.pt as one of the leading online operators in Portugal, with a particular strength in sports betting.

“By leveraging our technology, extensive portfolio of gaming content, marketing and CRM capabilities, as well as growing the sports offering, we see plenty of opportunities to grow its profitability and market position,” GVC said.

GVC chief executive Shay Segev added: “This acquisition is consistent with our strategy of expanding into new markets that are either regulated or regulating, in order to support our international growth ambitions.”

Bet.pt launched in Portugal in 2016, through a partnership with sportsbook platform provider, SBTech, after securing its licence from local gambling regulator, SRIJ.

SRIJ’s figures revealed that in 2020, Portugal set a new record for H1 gross gaming revenue (GGR) during the nation’s period of lockdown, with operators bringing in revenue of €138.9m, up 44.2% year-on-year.

Despite an international shutdown of international sport for several months, sports betting revenue increased by 15.9% compared to the same period in 2019 to €55.2m, while online casino revenue rose dramatically by 74.1%, to €83.7m.

As of 30 June, 10 licensees were permitted to offer sports in Portugal, and 13 were licensed to offer casino games, an increase from 8 and 10 respectively at this point in 2019.

News of the deal came alongside a trading update for GVC’s third quarter performance, in which the operator revealed revenue for the three months to 30 September grew 12% year-on-year.

This was driven by online growth, with a 26% increase in online betting and gaming net revenue offsetting a 5% decline in British retail’s contribution.

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