LeoVegas to Acquire 51% of eSports Betting Firm Pixel.bet
Mobile casino gaming operator, LeoVegas, looks to expand its offering into the burgeoning eSports industry with the acquisition of a majority stake in Pixel Holding Group. The LeoVegas investment company LeoVentures will spend €1.5 million (ca. £1.3 million) to gain control of 51% of Pixel Holding shares, which also includes its eSports operation Pixel.bet. The acquisition is expected to be completed in the third quarter of 2018, and LeoVegas says is not expected to have a significant impact on the Group’s financial position for the Financial Year.
Esports is an international and fast-growing area that engages millions of viewers and players every month. With this investment in Pixel.bet we as a Group will gain unique insight into a new and fast-growing segment. –Gustaf Hagman, LeoVegas Group CEO
Robin Ramm-Ericson, Managing Director of LeoVentures and co-founder of LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group, added, “In Pixel.bet we have found a passionate team of entrepreneurs who come from the esports community. With its strong technology and mobile-first gaming experience, Pixel.bet is a perfect match for the LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group. Together we will drive development for the absolute premier experience in esports betting.”
Eirik Kristiansen, CEO of Pixel.bet, said, “We love esports. And we love betting. We want to create value for enthusiasts and add something truly extra to our community. Pixel.bet is, for example, the first to offer log-in with mobile BankID and instant withdrawals. In LeoVentures we have now found a unique partner and investor that understands and shares our passion.”
Though the company states that its home country of Sweden will be the first targeted market, alongside the Nordic region, the acquisition will provide the support for a broader global launch. According to LeoVegas, the two firms share a vision in becoming leading brands in their respective industries, and this acquisition will be mutually beneficial.
According to market research firm, Newzoo, the eSports industry will be worth around £1.1 billion in the next three years, with major eSports events broadcasted to audiences upwards of 46 million people.
Newswire, Business Insider, has reported that the rise of eSports in Europe has seen growth in the betting and gambling on such events, with more and more bookies taking bets on popular games including Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO), DOTA 2 and League of Legends.