February 14th, 2017
One of Europe's fast growing iGaming operators is planning on turning Denmark green after a €9 million buyout of Dansk Underholdning. As part of its continued expansion into regulated iGaming markets, Mr Green has confirmed that it has made an all-cash purchase of Danish licence holder, Dansk Underholdning.
Following 27% year-on-year growth and annual revenue of €3.9 million in 2016, Mr Green's executives agreed a 7X EBITDA buyout with a further €650,000 payment if certain performance targets are met. For that price, Mr Green will not only acquire all the shares in the company, but also its iGaming licence and three active sites: Bingosjov, Bingoslottet and Balletbingo.
In addition to the virtual assets Mr Green has acquired, it has also agreed to keep the current CEO of Dansk Underholdning, Peter Eugen Clausen, in charge following the merger. As well as bringing a wealth of experience in the Danish market to the table, Clausen could also play a vital role in the company's future plans within the country. Clausen commented:
"We are excited to become part of Mr Green, which, in my opinion is one of the most skilled operators in the industry. The deal is a perfect match as it combines Mr Green's competences and economies of scale with the Danish presence and local knowledge of Dansk Underholdning. We look forward to introducing Mr Green in Denmark."
Aside from gaining entry to another regulated European market, Mr Green's latest acquisition could also have been a tactical one. According to reports, the Danish government is looking to amend the current state of gambling within its jurisdiction. The first change, which was announced in January (link to Danish document here), saw the government set out new provisions for betting on greyhound and pigeon racing.
More significantly, the paper also outlined plans to end the horserace betting monopoly currently held by the state-owned Danske Spil. Although these plans will need to be cleared by the European Commission before they can be written into law, it's expected the new regulations will come into effect on January 1, 2018.
In addition to these changes, the government is also looking at expanding the online bingo market. As it stands, Danske Spil is the only authorised online bingo operator in the region. However, following research that shows the unauthorised market is 2X the size of the authorised, the government believes now is the time to break that monopoly.
By freeing the market, the government would not only draw in more tax revenue, but also be in a better position to provide protection and oversight for players. Overall, the landscape of online gambling regulation in Denmark is an improving one.
Should these new plans come into force without intervention from the European Commission, Mr Green would be in a position to take advantage of these new markets almost immediately.
Indeed, part of its current plan is to run the Mr Green platform alongside Dansk Underholdning's existing online gambling sites which already offer bingo. On top of this, Mr Green completed the launch of its online sportsbook in January 2016.
Following a lengthy review process, the operator eventually partnered with Kambi Sports Solutions to offer a full suite of betting options, including horse racing. With these provisions already in place and time to establish itself as a major player in the Danish market, the timing of Mr Green's acquisition looks to have been extremely shrewd.
Beyond its interests in Denmark, Mr Green recently increased its presence in the UK market by becoming the first sponsor of the new free-to-air sports channel, Front Runner. Currently available to view on Sky channel 468 and Freeview channel 91, Front Runner airs a variety of sporting entertainment, including motocross, snowboarding and skateboarding.
As part of its deal with Mr Green, Front Runner will advertise the operator's online casinos. However, to ensure Front Runner and Mr Green don't fall foul of the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) rules on advertising gaming products, all promotional material will be shown after the 9pm watershed in the UK. Between its growing presence in the UK market and a new licence in Denmark, Mr Green is establishing itself as one of the largest operators in Europe.
In fact, thanks to casino, sports betting and live dealer betting options available in countries such as Germany, Sweden, Norway and the UK, Mr Green won the IGA '2016 Mobile Operator of the Year' award. With more innovations and acquisitions in the pipeline, Mr Green looks set to continue its rise up the iGaming ladder in 2017. To check them out, visit Mr Green today!