Flutter Acquiring Online Bingo Operator Tombola for $543m

  • This all-cash deal is set to close in Q1 2022, pending regulatory approval
  • Flutter is looking to expand its recreational player base and diversify its product collection
  • Tombola was the first operator to introduce mandatory betting and deposit limits
  • Tombola is the biggest online bingo operator in the UK, Spain, and Italy
Bingo hopper
Flutter Entertainment is buying online bingo operator Tombola for £402m ($543m) cash. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Diversifying its range of products

Flutter Entertainment has come to an agreement to purchase the UK-based online bingo operator Tombola for approximately £402m ($543m). The gambling group announced the news of this acquisition on Thursday.

the deal is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2020

This is set to be an all-cash deal for 100% of Tombola. The deal is expected to be completed during the first quarter of 2020, pending approval from the UK Competition and Markets Authority.

Through this purchase, Flutter is looking to expand its recreational customer base, adding further diversification to its range of products. Tombola has been good at retaining its player base over the years.

An exciting partnership

Flutter Entertainment chief executive Peter Jackson spoke about the delight of reaching this deal with “the UK’s premier bingo brand.” He expressed admiration for Tombola’s product expertise, sustainable play focus, and its highly recreational customer base. Jackson said: “I am excited to combine Flutter’s digital marketing expertise with Tombola’s operational capabilities within the UK & Ireland division.”

Flutter Entertainment has numerous major gambling brands under its umbrella, including Paddy Power, Betfair, FanDuel, and PokerStars.

Jackson also appreciates the commitment that Tombola has to safer gambling. The bingo operator was the first company to introduce mandatory deposit and betting limits. Flutter was in the news for the wrong reasons recently regarding safer gambling. Its Sky Betting & Gaming brand is under investigation by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) after its Sky Vegas offering was found to have sent marketing messages to self-excluded individuals and to people who had opted out of marketing communications.

A highly successful bingo operator

Tombola has been active in the UK market for many years, with over 80% of the operator’s revenue coming from the UK. About 16% of its revenue comes from its Spain and Italy operations. Its average monthly player base is around 400,000 and it employs more than 700 people.

Tombola is the biggest online bingo operator in the UK, Spain, and Italy. The Sunderland-based company creates original bingo software and games through its in-house development team.

For the financial year ending April 2021, Tombola had £164m ($221m) in revenue and a net profit of £9.4m ($12.7m). Tombola was one of just a few operators to successfully receive a gambling license in September in the Netherlands. It is now up and running in this newly regulated market that opened for the first time on October 1.

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