After Gamenet Group completed its €1.1 billion buyout of IGT Plc’s Lottomatica B2C subsidiaries, a new age of Italian gambling has begun.
Gamenet and IGT Tuesday morning that all final agreements in the selling of Lottomatica’s Scommesse (sports betting) and Videolot Rete gaming machine units had been completed.
To capitalise on its new assets’ heritage identification with the Italian public, Gamenet has announced that it will now run all B2C units under the Lottomatica name.
New market leader
“A new Lottomatica becomes the market leader of Italy’s regulated gaming market, leading the business segments of online, sports betting and gaming machines,” said Gamenet.
A new-look Lottomatica will run a franchise network of 3,000 betting points, 1,400 gaming halls, 13,600 tobacconists/bars gaming machines, and 120 gaming venues, according to Gamenet.
The formation was hailed as a “strategic milestone” by US private equity firm Apollo Global, which noted that Italy will now be served by a new gambling powerhouse that had produced €1.6 billion in revenue and handled €22 billion in wagers in 2019.
Apollo Partner Michele Rabà, who led the trade, 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.”
Shifting Italian regulatory trends
A new Lottomatica is forming against the backdrop of shifting regulatory trends in Italian gambling – an industry that has seen year-on-year tax increases since 2017 as well as increased government compliance regulation.
Despite the substantial divestiture, IGT will maintain a presence in Italy through its existing Lottomatica B2B subsidiary, which will continue to operate the SuperEnalotto lottery.
To avoid a conflict with Gamenet’s new land, IGT did not say if it would rebrand its Italian B2B unit.
All proceeds from the NYSE technology group’s Italian sell-off will be used to reduce the company’s long-term corporate debt, which currently stands at €7.5 billion.
Guglielmo Angelozzi, Chief Executive Officer of the new Lottomatica said: “This transformational deal makes our combined group one of the leading betting and gaming companies in Europe.
“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.”