Flutter Entertainment, the world’s biggest iGaming betting group, has expanded its empire and acquired online bingo operator Tombola for £402 million in cold hard cash (US$539.65m/€477.45m).

Announcing the acquisition, Flutter’s Chief Executive Peter Jackson said: “Tombola is a business we have long admired for its product expertise, highly recreational customer base and focus on sustainable play.

“The brand aligns closely with Flutter’s safer gambling strategy [which is] a key area of focus for us.”

Founded by CEO Phil Cronin in 1999 in Sunderland, North-east England, and with deep family ties to the traditional bingo business, Tombola has long been at the fore of the progressive safe gaming movement.

For example, Tombola was the first major UK operator to introduce mandatory staking and deposit limits.

It is the largest online bingo operator in the UK and is also the number one bingo operator in Spain and Italy, two countries that comprise around 16 per cent of its market.

Equally attractively, the company has one of the few and much-coveted operating licences in the newly regulated Dutch online gaming sphere.

Tombola has an average of 400,000 monthly players across its range of online games.

It generated £120 million of revenue (US$161.1m/€142.5m) and £9.4 million in net profit (US$12.62m/€11.16m) in its 2019-2020 financial year, ending April 30.

“I am excited to combine Flutter’s digital marketing expertise with Tombola’s operational capabilities within the UK and Ireland division,” continued Jackson.

“I would like to thank Phil [Cronin] for building the success story that the business is today, and I look forward to welcoming the Tombola team to flutter and growing a sustainable business for the future together.”

Dublin based, FTSE-100 Flutter expects to complete the acquisition in Q1 next year, subject to regulatory clearance, when the online bingo queen will join the company’s stable of other high-flying brands, notably: Paddy Power, Betfair and FanDuel.

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