Gauselmann acquire Poland’s Totolotek betting operation


merkur-gauselmann-totolotek-poland-sports-bettingPoland’s Totolotek sports betting operation is only a competition watchdog’s rubber stamp away from becoming part of the Gauselmann Group.

Last December, Polish media reported that XTiP Polska, a joint venture of Gauselmann’s Merkur Sportwetten GmbH subsidiary and Warsaw-based professional investment and consulting group TMT Investments SA, had made a play to acquire Totolotek from its parent company, Greek lottery and betting operator Intralot.

On Monday, reported that a share purchase agreement between Gauselmann and Intralot had been reached and the German firm had submitted an application to Poland’s Office of Competition and Consumer Protection (UOKiK) for approval of the deal. The application was reportedly filed on March 21.

Merkur Sportwetten CEO Niko Steinbraub issued a statement hailing the acquisition of Totolotek’s 260 retail points of sale as well as its popular online and mobile betting operations. Steinraub called the addition of a strong presence in Poland – accompanying the Merkur brand’s current operations in Germany, Australia, Denmark and Belgium – “an important part of our development strategy.”

Totolotek chairman Adam Lamentowicz claimed to be happy to be gaining “such a strong strategic partner,” adding that the Gauselmann Group’s “experience, financial background and innovative solutions for selling products” via both land-based and digital channels can only spell good things for the future of the Totolotek operation.

Intralot CFO Andreas Chryssos said the deal was part of his company’s strategy of “disinvesting from its non-core markets and focusing on the group’s strategic markets, such as the USA.”

This has definitely been something of a transformative year for Intralot, which is not only losing a top-three operator in Poland but in February lost a major Turkish sports betting contract to rival Scientific Games.