Unibet to Re-Enter French Market with Eurosport Poker Acquisition
Swedish online gaming company Unibet announced on Thursday it had signed an agreement to acquire the Solfive Group, operator of the French Eurosport-branded poker and betting sites.
The agreement is subject to the approval of ARJEL, the French regulatory body, who has already issued licenses to the Solfive group.
Unibet, who runs one of the larger brands on the Microgaming poker network, plans to move the active customers – claimed to number more than 130k – over to the Unibet.fr brand.
The move would mark the groups re-entry in to the French market: Unibet.fr was previously granted a license to offer online gaming to French customers, only to cease operations in 2011. The high revenue-based tax levied in France makes it tough for operators to profit from the operation; Ladbrokes is another notable site that has tried and failed to survive under AJREL license.
“Even though we recognize that it will be difficult to generate profits in the short term under the current terms and conditions, we consider that over the medium term France will develop a more sustainable model that will better achieve the goals of player protection, fair competition and reasonable taxation,” notes Henrik Tjärnström, Unibet CEO.
“With this acquisition Unibet can re-enter the French market at a limited cost to take advantage of the longer-term opportunities,” he adds.