By agreeing to buy Rank Group subsidiary Blancas NV for a total value of £ 25 million (cash and debt-free basis), Kindred Group Plc has reaffirmed its market-leading position in Belgium.
Blancas NV is the ‘Blankenberge Casino’ operating company located in the Flemish province of West Flanders in Belgium and is one of nine casinos approved by the Belgian Gambling Commission (BGC).
Updating investors, Kindred claimed that the transaction was undertaken to ‘solidify the group’s long-term operations and commitments within Belgium’ so that Kindred could continue to give Belgian customers an appealing large offering.
Full online gambling licences can be maintained only if an operator is secured by a ‘principal land-based regional partner’ under the 2011 amendments attached to Belgium’s ‘Gambling Act’.
Since 2012, Blancas NV has served as the regional partner of the Kindred Group, helping flagship brand Unibet maintain its ‘Belgium A+ Licence’ and thus enabling the company to operate online sportsbook, casino and poker services.
While challenged by European-level igaming operators for the restriction of business services, the Belgian government continues to uphold its licence requirements under the Gambling Act.
Since 2005, Kindred has held a leading Belgian market presence, conducting the first European acquisition for £ 80 million of MrBookmaker, the domestic betting incumbent.
“The acquisition demonstrates Kindred’s long-term commitment towards the Belgian market and gives Kindred direct access to one of the nine casino licenses, which allows Kindred to continue to offer a broad offering to its Belgian customers,” said Kindred in its statement.
Under the leadership of the current management team headed by Dominique De Wilde, Blancas NV will act as a separate organisation within the Kindred Party.