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Will Bestpoker join the partypoker network?

Migrations, acquisitions, and closing of rooms (or even entire networks) have always been an integral part of online poker history. Today Entain PLC (formerly GVC) confirmed its intention to purchase Enlabs, which for our industry means the entry of two more rooms — BestPoker and Optibet — into the partypoker network.

Will Bestpoker join the partypoker network?

Entain PLC wants to buy Enlabs

Today, January 7, 2021, an interesting press release was shared on the Entain PLC website, which could have far-reaching consequences for the online poker market:

  • Entain has made an offer to tender all shares to Enlabs shareholders.
  • The offer is SEK 40 per each Enlabs (roughly £250m
  • The transaction is expected to complete in Q1 2021, subject to required approvals.
  • 42.2% of the total number of Enlabs shareholders have undertaken to accept the offer.
  • The offer represents a premium of 42.3%, considering an average price of SEK 28.12 per share (the last 180 trading days before the offer).

What are the implications for online poker of this transaction, and what questions may arise?

What awaits Bestpoker in 2021?

The two companies involved in this deal own the following poker rooms:

  • Entain — GVC Network (partypoker, bwin, Coral, Ladbrokes).
  • Enlabs — Bestpoker, Optibet Poker

The last two rooms switched to the iPoker Network from GGNetwork only last summer.

To understand the implications, it is necessary to recall two other British companies' fate, which, together with their parent companies, were bought by GVC back in 2016. Coral Poker and Ladbrokes Poker joined the partypoker network in the first half of 2020.

Hence, it is very likely that Bestpoker and Optibet will join partypoker in the same network once the deal is completed.

Legal markets above all

Shay Segev

The rebranding of GVC Holdings to Entain PLC, which took place in November 2020, was also accompanied by a polity stated on the complete withdraw from unregulated markets by 2023. Shay Segev, Entain CEO, confirmed that the Enlabs acquisition fits perfectly with this strategy.

"The acquisition of Enlabs is perfectly aligned with our strategy of expanding across new regulated international markets."

In the press release, Enlabs is mentioned primarily as the leader of the three Baltic countries' gaming markets, the owner of the Swedish casino games manufacturer Global Gaming, with potential growth opportunities in Scandinavia and Eastern Europe.

Benefits for partypoker

The migration of Bestpoker and Optibet Poker to the partypoker network will not only have a positive impact on its traffic, but it will also help to improve the presence of Entain on regulated markets.

In the meantime, both rooms are doing well in iPoker, which is currently ranked 7th in the PokerScout ranking and is only 12% behind partypoker.

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Vargoso 08.01.21
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