It was recently revealed that Entain Holdings, which is the parent company of partypoker, is going to purchase the Estonian company Olympic Group. Currently, Olympic Group is the owner of the Baltic poker room Olyber Poker, which is a part of the GGNetwork. In the following article, we will talk about how this deal can affect the citation in the European online poker market. Read on for further details.
Entain Pursues the Aggressive Takeover Policy
The fact that Entain is looking to acquire more and more companies in the European market is an excellent indicator of their overall policy. Entain continues its aggressive takeover policy which was started by GVC Holdings. Entain has already purchased Bwin and Ladbrokes Coral, which are huge companies on their own. This year, Entain has also managed to buy Enlabs, which is the largest iGaming company in the Baltics region. However, it is hard to say that this purchase was successful, as one of its poker rooms was later shut down and another one has moved to another network. And now, Entain is determined to buy the Olympic Entertainment Group, which is an Estonian gambling company with branches in Baltic States, Slovakia, Malta, and Italy. Many major media outlets have stated that Entain plans to acquire Olympic Group for $1 billion.
It is easy to see why Entain wants to purchase the Olympic Group. Currently, they are an official partner of the NBA and NHL in that region. Therefore, it is fair to assume that they are most interested in the group’s sports betting and casino assets. However, this deal is also likely to affect the European poker market, as Olybet Poker is currently part of the GGNetwork. In some ways, this is a competition between partypoker and GGNetwork.
What are the Consequences?
It will be a logical decision for the newly acquired poker rooms to make a move to the GVC Network. Currently, Olyber Poker has all the chances to become the fifth poker room of the GVC Network. This way, it will no longer share the playing pool with GGNetwork but rather with poker operators on the GVC Network. We have already seen this happen with Bwin and Ladbrokes Coral in recent years. However, there will be one problem in this situation, which is the fact that GVC Network already has one poker room operating in the Baltic region (Optibet Poker). Therefore, it does not make much sense to add another poker site from the same region. One possible solution to this problem is a closure of one of the skins and subsequent transfer of player accounts to another one.
Partypoker could greatly benefit from this deal. Especially when we consider the fact that a few thousand new EU players will greatly boost partypoker’s position in the TOP-10 rankings worldwide. It is also important to acknowledge that GVC Network is going to leave all unregulated markets in a year due to its rebranding.
While this situation is definitely not in GGNetwork’s favor, it is hard to say that the loss of Olybet Poker will greatly affect the overall traffic. Given its determined approach of taking over the regulated markets in Europe, it is fair to assume that GGNetwork will find a new way to make a legal presence in the Baltic States. It has already received gambling licenses in the Netherlands, Romania, and Belgium.
We can predict that 2022 will be the year when top poker operators will compete for the players from as many regulated European countries as possible. The main way to outcompete a rival will be through acquisitions of other companies or through obtaining local licenses. Those who will manage to win this rivalry are guaranteed to attract many new players and grow their poker rooms.