International leisure and entertainment business, Genting, has agreed a deal that will see it acquire LeoVegas’ subsidiary Authentic Gaming for EUR 15 m ($16.7m) on a “debt-free” basis, with the sales price representing a return of better than 100 percent during a period of just more than three years.

The Malta-based live casino firm [Authentic Gaming] debuted in 2015 and has made fast work of becoming profitable having carved out a prominent position in the live casino vertical. It is one of three operating arms, including esports betting brand Pixel.Bet and casino streaming portal CasinoGrounds, that are part of LeoVentures, the LeoVegas Group’s wholly-owned investment company.

The time is now right to sell the enterprise to the industry giant Genting, which is the perfect buyer to take Authentic Gaming to the next level.”

Next big step:

Commenting on the recent acquisition in the official October 30, 2019 press release, Chief Executive Officer and founder of Authentic Gaming, Jonas Delin, said…

“We have now laid the foundation for Authentic Gaming to take its next big step in live casino. I am very happy that Genting, with more than 50 years of experience in gaming and entertainment, shares our vision to weave online and land-based casino and has chosen to invest in our product and team. At the same time I want to thank LeoVegas for their tremendous support since the start and for the platform that LeoVentures has created for us to take us to where we are today.”

One of the world’s largest leisure and entertainment businesses, Genting boasts an expanding digital business arm including, its online sportsbook and online casino, which is owned and operated by Genting Casinos UK Limited.

Online vertical:

Managing Director for Genting Online, Jeremy Taylor, added…

“Our global presence in land-based casino gives us a platform to grow online at a fast pace. Our vision is to offer our customers an amazing gaming experience from all of our casinos around the world, 24 hours a day through any device. With Authentic Gaming’s advanced technology and innovative product, we are convinced that together we have a good position to realise that vision.”

The acquisition comes after in August this year LeoVegas reported that during the first half of 2019 it “generated good underlying growth and profitability despite a difficult-to-navigate external environment in several of our largest markets,” while second-quarter revenue amounted to EUR 94.4 m (87.4), an increase of 8 percent.

Time is right:

Also commenting on the purchase, Group Chief Executive Officer for LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group, Gustaf Hagman, said…

“This is a milestone for LeoVegas. The time is now right to sell the enterprise to the industry giant Genting, which is the perfect buyer to take Authentic Gaming to the next level. The deal shows our innovative strength in the Group and our ability to develop and build sustainable companies. We have thereby created shareholder value with more than a 100% return on our investment in Authentic Gaming.”

The purchase is part of  Genting’s continuing effort to expand its live casino vertical in the global gambling market that analysts expect to reach revenues of more than $525 billion by 2023, with growth at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of approximately 4% during 2017-2023.

Fines & licenses:

In related news, earlier this month, LeoVegas, and its subsidiary Royal Panda received fines totaling €750,000 ($827,000) from the Dutch Gambling Authority (KSA) for reportedly offering illegal online gambling in the Netherlands, with the latter receiving the larger of the two fines at €400,000.

The iGaming company was also granted a five-year operating license, the longest possible term, by the Swedish Administrative Court of Linköping, overturning Switzerland’s gaming regulator Spelinspektionen’s decision to limit the operator to a two-year license.