Gambling platform Sky Bet sold to Canadian poker firm in £3.4 billion deal

Sky BetThe Stars Group, the owners of PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker, has announced that its struck an agreement to acquire Sky Betting & Gaming in a £3.4 billion deal.

With the takeover, this will transform The Stars Group into the world’s largest publicly listed online gaming company.

Sky Bet is majority-owned by CVC Capital Partners, the private equity firm which used to control Formula One motor racing. The Stars Group has transformed itself from a company that predominantly generated its revenues from poker, to one almost evenly spread out between its three biggest verticals. Also, the acquisition provides The Stars Group with a bigger footprint in the United Kingdom, the largest regulated online gaming market worldwide.

The Stars Group CEO Rafi Ashkenazi said: “The acquisition of Sky Betting & Gaming is a landmark moment in The Stars Group’s history. SBG operates one of the world’s fastest growing sportsbooks and is one of the United Kingdom’s leading gaming providers. SBG’s premier sports betting product is the ideal complement to our industry-leading poker platform.

“The ability to offer two low-cost acquisition channels of this magnitude provides The Stars Group with great growth potential and will significantly increase our ability to create winning moments for our customers.

“Following this transaction, The Stars Group will have significantly enhanced scale and a highly-regarded global brand portfolio. As a result, we are well positioned to realise our vision of becoming the world’s favorite iGaming destination.”

On the announcement, Sky Betting & Gaming CEO Richard Flint added: “We are delighted to join forces with The Stars Group.“

“We have had a fantastic last few years and would like to thank CVC and Sky for supporting us in becoming a leading online operator in the UK. This transaction allows us to offer our best-in-class products to a truly global audience. We’re excited about our future together.”

The deal is expected to close during the third quarter of 2018.