Entain has closed the acquisitions of European operators Bet.pt and Enlabs as the betting and gaming group continues to make progress on its goal of expanding into new locally regulated markets.
The purchases have increased the number of regulated international markets in which Entain operates by almost a third over the past year, in addition to providing potential entry points to further regions.
Online gambling group Enlabs, secured via a revised SEK 3.7bn (£316m) takeover bid, permits Entain to make its maiden entry into the Baltic states via its flagship brand Optibet, with Bet.pt strengthening its position in the Iberian Peninsula, where it already boasts a presence through bwin in Spain.
“Portugal and the Baltic region represent highly attractive, locally regulated and fast-growing gaming markets” said Rob Wood, CFO and deputy chief executive of Entain.
“Both these acquisitions further deliver on our growth strategy of expanding across fast-growing international markets.”
Looking ahead, the group is expecting to further increase the number of regulated markets in which it operates through a combination of positive regulatory developments in certain jurisdictions, such as Canada, and expansion into new countries in regions including Latin America and Central and Eastern Europe
At this time last year Entain had operations in 21 fully regulated markets, before later adding Germany and Colombia. That total has risen to 27 following the latest acquisitions.
“These new acquisitions are in line with our strategy to expand into new locally regulated markets” added Wood. “We are committed to operating only in countries which are either already fully regulated or in the process of regulating and will continue to look for opportunities to expand our business internationally.”
At the end of last year, Entain committed to operate only in countries where regulation is already in place, or is in the process, to allow sports-betting and gaming.. At present 99 per cent of revenue comes from fully regulated and regulating markets, which the group has said will become 100 per cent regulated by the end of 2023.