Canadian gaming firm, Stars group has purchased UK-based Sky Betting and Gaming (SBG). The deal will cost the company CAD$6 billion. While the amount is massive, it’s a small price to pay considering what the company stands to gain.
The Stars Group, also the owner of the mega poker site – PokerStars, will now be one of the largest publicly traded gambling firms in the world. In addition, the deal plays a pivotal role in Stars Group’s entry into “one of the largest regulated online gaming markets” – the United Kingdom. SBG is one of the largest gambling operators in the UK; with 80% of profits acquired from mobile betting in the past year.
Stars Group’s CEO, Rafi Ashkenazi, said: “SBG operates one of the world’s fastest growing sportsbooks and is one of the United Kingdom’s leading gaming providers. SBG would complement Stars Group and give the group potential for growth.” Further, Ashkenazi called the deal a “landmark moment.”
Richard Flint, CEO of SBG, said: “We are delighted to join forces with the Stars Group.” He added: “We have had a fantastic last few years and would like to thank CVC and Sky for supporting us in becoming a leading online operator in the UK. This transition allows us to offer our best-in-class products to a truly global audience”. Flint concluded by saying that they were excited about the future together. Currently, SBG is in the middle of a multimillion-dollar sponsorship deal with the English Football League.
Other Acquisitions by Stars Group
The SBG deal is awaiting approval from the Toronto Stock Exchange and other gambling authorities. The deal will be officially completed in the third quarter of this year.
However, the SBG deal wasn’t the only acquisition on the Stars Group books. In fact, Ashkenazi indicated the group’s intention to lower its reliance on poker. In addition, he signalled that the group was on the lookout for new targets. This led to failed merger attempt with British bookmaker William Hill. However, the Canadian gambling firm did end up with a slice of William Hill after all. After CrownBet bought William Hill and Stars Group increased their stake in CrownBet.
Stars Groups efforts to lessen its dependence on online poker seems to be paying off, and we look forward to what the rest of the year will bring. Keep it locked to our blog page for exciting online gambling news.