GVC eyes Portuguese top spot with Bet.pt takeover

GVC Holdings has confirmed that it will return to Portugal by acquiring online sportsbook Bet.pt for an undisclosed sum. 

The FTSE100 betting group announced its latest acquisition as part of its Q3 2020 trading update, which saw GVC increase full-year EBITDA guidance to the £770-790 million range following a rapid recovery across all core regulated marketplaces.

In its trading statement, GVC outlined that its Bet.pt acquisition remained ‘consistent with its regulated market strategy’, as the operator seeks to establish a leading presence within a ‘market which is anticipated to more than double to around €450m by 2023’.

GVC had previously held a Portuguese market presence through its Bwin sportsbook brand but decided to withdraw from the market in 2015 following the approval of Portugal’s amended Gambling Bill, which instantly raised sportsbook turnover taxes from 8 to 16%.

Citing that Portugal’s new gambling tax regime had made its marketplace no longer viable, GVC departed the market alongside a raft of international operators including William Hill, bet365 and Ladbrokes.

A domestic incumbent, in 2016 Bet.pt was the second online sportsbook to be granted a new Portuguese sportsbook licence by regulatory agency Comissao de Jogos do Turismo (SRJI).

Four years on from its legislative overhaul, the Portuguese sportsbook marketplace has seen a number of international operators relaunch their services, including Betclic, Betano, Betway and 888Sports.

“We are pleased to welcome Bet.pt to the GVC Group having been impressed by the quality of the business and its significant growth since launch,” read the GVC statement. “This acquisition is in line with our strategy to grow in new, regulated markets and builds on our strong track record of buying local brands and building them into market leaders.

“Through access to GVC’s content, technology and digital marketing skills, we believe Bet.pt can build on it’s position as a market leader in Portugal.”  

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