GVC Holdings to Acquire Portuguese Online Operator Bet.pt

  • Bet.pt was an early entrant to the regulated online gambling market in Portugal
  • Experts predict the Portuguese online sector’s revenue to double to about €450m ($528m) by 2023
  • Portugal's sports betting and online casino revenues hit record highs in the first half of 2020
  • GVC Holdings reported 26% growth in net online gaming revenue in the third quarter
Portugal flag
GVC Holdings is set to acquire Portuguese online gambling operator Bet.pt, marking its first entry into Portugal. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

A new acquisition

GVC Holdings has announced that it is acquiring Portuguese online gambling operator Bet.pt. In the press release, GVC called Bet.pt one of the top online operators in the country “with a particular strength in sports betting.”

GVC sees plenty of opportunity to improve the market position and profitability of its new acquisition going forward. 

The regulated market in Portugal is still relatively young. Bet.pt was one of the early entrants, receiving a sports betting license in 2016 and a license to operate an online casino in 2017. The Portuguese market is quickly expanding, with revenue forecast to more than double by 2023 to about €450m ($528m).

consistent with our strategy of expanding into new markets”

Speaking about the deal, GVC chief executive Shay Segev said: “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.”

Portugal gambling scene

Despite the pandemic creating havoc in the sports world, sports betting revenue still rose by 15.9% to €55.2m ($64.8m) in Portugal for the first six months of the year. Online casino revenue rose significantly, up 74% to €83.7m ($98.3m).

Total gross gaming revenue in the country for the first half of the year also soared, hitting a record high of €138.9m ($163.1m), a rise of 44.2% year-on-year.

There are currently ten active online sportsbook licensees in the country and 13 online casino licensees.

A strong third quarter

GVC Holdings reported strong third quarter results on October 8, with net online gaming revenue increasing by 26%. Earnings for the year are now expected to be £50m ($64.6m) more than originally predicted.

Online gaming volume was greater than what it was pre-pandemic. Online sports betting was also significantly ahead of where it was the previous year, with a busy sports calendar in full swing.

The group’s net gaming revenue rose by 12%, as retail outlets in the UK and Europe start to recover. Segev said it was the 19th consecutive quarter of double-digit online growth, with gains in market share across all territories. 

US expansion

GVC is also confident that it will be the leading US online gaming and sports betting operator through the BetMGM brand that it co-owns with MGM Resorts International.

BetMGM currently holds a market share of about 17%

Currently, BetMGM is live in eight different states, with launches in three more states to come before the end of 2020. The trading update states that BetMGM currently holds a market share of about 17% in its live markets, with full year net revenue in the country expected to be between $150m and $160m.

To help with expansion, BetMGM has signed partnerships with multiple sports teams and has launched a new brand campaign that stars Jamie Foxx.

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