Partypoker vs GGNetwork: Entain looking to acquire Olympic Group
The owner of partypoker, Entain Holdings (better known as GVC), will buy the Estonian company Olympic Group, including the Baltic poker room Olybet Poker (GGNetwork). We'll try to figure out how this deal will affect the situation in European online poker.
Entain continues the tradition started by GVC Holdings and pursues an aggressive takeover policy in the European market. Following the acquisition of Bwin and Ladbrokes Coral, they went on with Baltic company Enlabs this year. As a result, one of its poker rooms was closed (Bestpoker), and the second one (Optibet) moved to another poker network.
Now the media (Front Sports Office and Bloomberg) are talking about the possibility of another such deal:
Entain Holdings plans the $1 billion acquisition of the Estonian Olympic Entertainment Group, which has its branches in the Baltic States and in Slovakia, Italy, and Malta.
Of course, they are primarily interested in the group's sports betting (it is a partner of NBA and NHL in the region) and casino assets, but this deal should also affect the situation in the European poker market, especially in terms of competition between partypoker and GGNetwork.
Will Olybet Poker join the partypoker network?
The most obvious consequence of the deal will be the next move of poker rooms from one network to another:
In 2022, Olybet can become the fifth poker room of the GVC Network and add its players to the pool. The same happened to Bwin, Coral, and Ladbrokes previously.
After completing Entain's deal with Olympic Group, the only obstacle on this path may be that GVC Network already has one Baltic poker room - Optibet Poker. And it makes little sense to add another one from this region. Therefore, it's very likely that one of the skins would be closed and player accounts transferred to another one.
Competition for the European legal markets
Even a few thousand new EU players can help partypoker compete for a higher position in the Top-10 of the online poker rankings. Don't forget that the network should leave all unregulated markets in a year, as announced during the GVC rebranding.
For GGNetwork, the loss of Olybet Poker will not affect the overall traffic but will just make them find other ways of legal presence in the Baltic States. Last year we wrote that this network is very serious about its development in the European regulated markets.
And in 2021, they confirmed these intentions, having received licenses in the Netherlands, Belgium, and Romania. Meanwhile, partypoker cannot boast of such successes.
In 2022, top poker operators will fight for the players from as many European countries as possible, where online gambling is legalized, and gambling advertising is allowed. It is expected to be achieved through acquisitions of other companies or through obtaining local licenses.
The most successful of them will get many new customers - wealthy poker and gambling fans who are afraid to entrust their money to offshore companies. We will follow this process and tell you where you can expect an increase in valuable casual traffic.
Read also – Intertops rebranded to Everygame
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