Online bookmakers 888 snap up BetBright in £15 million takeover
Online gaming and betting company 888 have bought bookmaker BetBright's sports betting platform for £15 million.
888 said the acquisition would enhance their "long-term prospects in the global sports betting market" but they are not expected to continue to operate the BetBright brand, with the bookmaker's Dublin office set to be integrated into the 888 group as part of the acquisition.
It is the latest example of consolidation in the gambling industry as companies look to increase scale in the face of increased taxation and regulation, as well as eyeing the potential riches of the sports betting market opening up in the US. 888 already operate in Nevada, Delaware and New Jersey.
BetBright were founded in 2012, with leading owner Rich Ricci unveiled as the firm's executive chairman in 2016.
The firm had a number of high-profile racing sponsorships, including the BetBright Cup at the Cheltenham Festival and the Dipper Novices' Chase at the same course on New Year's Day.
888 already own the platforms for their casino, poker and bingo divisions and the BetBright sportsbook deal completes the set. They will also be acquiring BetBright's risk management, product and trading capabilities.
888 chief executive Itai Pazner said the deal was "an exciting milestone" for the company, adding: "It gives the group the missing piece in our proprietary product and technology portfolio and will enable 888 to own proprietary, end-to-end solutions across the four major online gaming verticals."
He added: "We are confident that this acquisition will increase the group's long-term prospects and differentiation in the growing global sports betting market.
"The BetBright sportsbook has been developed by a fantastic team and is a high-quality and scalable platform. Our new colleagues joining from BetBright will significantly strengthen 888's sports betting expertise and industry know-how, and we are delighted to welcome them into the group."
The deal is 888's third acquisition in recent months with the company having taken full control of All American Poker Network in December and agreeing an £18m deal to buy a number of online bingo brands from JPJ Group last month.
Analysts at Goodbody said buying smaller technology operators was a risk but added: "We believe this is a good long-term strategic move by 888."
888's share price ended trading on Monday down 3.3p at 176.6p.
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