Publish Date: 28/05/2021
Fact checked by: Sophie McCarthy
Esports Entertainment Group, one of the biggest names in esports and esports betting has announced their intentions to purchase the Spanish and Swedish licenced sports betting operator Bethard. This will be one of the biggest single expansions of the Esports Entertainment Group across continental Europe.
This was a pretty expensive purchase for the company. They are paying €16 million in upfront costs to Bethard's parent company as well as making a commitment to paying out 12% of the net gaming revenue generated by Bethard over the next two years. This combined payment gives Bethard a total valuation of over €27 million.
It is going to be a significant improvement for Sports Entertainment Group's financials. Bethard made a net gaming revenue of $31 million in 2020 and now that they have been acquired, Esports Entertainment Group have raised their revenue guidance by around 5%.
The acquisition is due to close on the 1st of July 2021.
This is one of the largest and most important acquisitions made by Sports Entertainment Group. It looks like they are planning a large expansion in continental Europe. Bethard is licensed to operate in both the Spanish and Swedish markets. While Spain has a decent number of bettors, the Esports Entertainment CEO has publicly said that they are most interested in the Swedish betting license.
There have also been issues surrounding Bethard in recent months. Football star Zlatan Ibrahimovic was a brand ambassador for the company for a long time. That is perfectly fine, but it was then revealed that he was also part owner of the company. A football player at his level having a significant financial interest in a betting company is a breach of the FIFA and UEFA codes of ethics. By purchasing Bethard, the Sports Entertainment group has solved this issue.
Grant Johnson, the Sports Entertainment Group CEO, spoke about the recent acquisition plans: "This is another great addition to the Sports Entertainment Group that will substantially increase our revenues, and available markets. With this transaction, we expect to gain two new gaming licenses, including one in the strategically important Swedish market. At the completion of the license handover, we will have six tier-one licenses."
This marks the next step in the Sports Entertainment Groups expansion plans. They have also made marketing agreements in Latin America. This is in an attempt to expand their VIE.bet brand across the region. In LATAM they have signed deals with Movistar Liga Pro Gaming League, the popular esports tournament that is run by Live Media Esports Entertainment and one of Peru's largest esports organisations, Infamous Gaming.
In Europe, they also made another acquisition of a betting and gambling company. They paid roughly $30 million for the online casino operator, Lucky Dino. The deal was made to take advantage of the Malta based license and the online gambling assets owned by Lucky Dino.
In the US, their New Jersey GMBL subsidiary was just last week approved for a license in New Jersey. This marks the beginning of their entrance into the US betting market and the growth of their company outside of Europe.