A new era for Italian gambling awakens as Gamenet Group completes its €1.1 billion buyout of IGT Plc’s Lottomatica B2C subsidiaries.
This morning, Gamenet and IGT disclosed that all final arrangements had been concluded in the sale of Lottomatica’s Scommesse (sports betting) and Videolot Rete gaming machine units.
Finalising its acquisition, Gamenet has confirmed that it will now operate all B2C units under the Lottomatica brand, to benefit from its new assets’ heritage identity with the Italian public.
“A new Lottomatica becomes the market leader of Italy’s regulated gaming market, leading the business segments of online, sports betting and gaming machines” – Gamenet declared in its announcement.
Providing a breakdown of assets, Gamenet underscored that a new-look Lottomatica will operate a franchise network of 3,000 betting points, 1,400 gaming halls,13,600 tobacconists/bars gaming machines and 120 gaming venues.
The formation was branded as a ‘strategic milestone’, by US private equity fund Apollo Global – the owner of Gamenet – which underscored that Italy would now be served by a new gambling giant that had recorded a total revenues €1.6 billion and handled €22 billion of wagers during 2019.
Leading the transaction, Apollo Partner Michele Rabà said: “Our funds have backed Gamenet with a significant equity injection to perform this transaction, which reshapes the Italian gaming market.”
“We are enthusiastic about the continued growth prospects of the company following this transaction and we will continue to support Gamenet , now Lottomatica, in consolidating this sector beyond Italy.”
A new Lottomatica is formed amid a disruptive backdrop of changing regulatory dynamics within Italian gambling – a market that has witnessed year-on-year tax increases since 2017, alongside heightened compliance enforcements imposed by the government.
Despite its significant divestment, IGT will retain its presence within Italy as its established Lottomatica B2B subsidiary will continue to serve as operating company of Italy’s SuperEnalotto lottery.
IGT did not disclose whether it would move to rebrand its Italian B2B unit, avoiding a clash with Gamenet’s new property.
The NYSE technology group had previously disclosed that all proceeds from its Italian sell-off would be directed towards reducing its long-term corporate debt which tracks at €7.5 billion.
“This transformational deal makes our combined group one of the leading betting and gaming companies in Europe,” commented Guglielmo Angelozzi, Chief Executive Officer of the new Lottomatica.
“We now turn our focus to rapid integration of all our assets and expansion into new geographical markets. We firmly believe that with our capabilities, our proprietary technology, our financial strength and the support from the team at Apollo, we will be able to effectively diversify in new markets and capture significant growth and consolidation opportunities.”