LeoVegas forays into eSports with acquisition of Pixel.bet
LeoVegas has made a move to enter the eSports betting market with the acquisition of Pixel.bet.
The stockholm-based operator announced the deal via its investor arm, LeoVenture, on Thursday.
LeoVegas is set to take a majority 51% stake in the eSports operator, Pixel.bet, which is based in Malta, after committing €1.5m. Those funds will be raised via a new share issue.
The acquisition is planned to be completed in the third quarter of 2018.
Pixel.bet has focused its attention in the Nordic markets, meaning LeoVegas should be the perfect operator to guide the business into the next stages. Pixel.bet have stated that the next phase and ultimate goal is to become a leading global eSports betting brand.
Robin Ramm-Ericson, the managing director of LeoVentures, explained why the group chose to invest in Pixel.bet:
In Pixel.bet we have found a passionate team of entrepreneurs who come from the eSports community. With its strong technology and mobile-first gaming experience, Pixel.bet is a perfect match for the LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group. Together we will drive development for the absolute premier experience in eSports betting.– Robin Ramm-Ericson, LeoVentures managing director
LeoVegas diversifying through acquisitions
Betting on eSports is a rapidly growing industry. In 2015, $315m was bet on eSports, but research by Statista shows that amounts wagered on eSports will grow to $23.5bn by 2020.
The move is then a calculated one by LeoVegas, who are increasingly diversifying from their core mobile casino offering. Last month, the operator launched a new sportsbook, BetUK, to the UK market.
That move was made after LeoVegas acquired the operator earlier in the year, before adding a sportsbook to its offering.
Speaking about the move, Gustaf Hagman, LeoVegas Group CEO, said:
eSports is an international and fast-growing area that engages millions of viewers and players every month. With this investment in Pixel.bet we as a group will gain unique insight into a new and fast-growing segment.– Gustaf Hagman, LeoVegas CEO