Betsson withdraws license application for Dutch online betting market
Betsson withdraws license application for Dutch online betting market

Swedish gaming operator Betsson said it had withdrawn its application for an online betting license in the Netherlands.

The group said it had faced “significant delays” in approving the application, which was placed through subsidiaries.

Betsson announced the decision to withdraw its application in its second quarter earnings report. However, the company claimed that it may reapply for the license in the future.

The operator left the Dutch market in September 2021, ahead of the launch of regulated online gambling.

After Dutch regulator KSA confirmed that operators active in the gray market would be subject to a cooling off period before being accepted for licences.

The company closed its former Netherlands-facing Casino Winner brand in January, which ran Kroon Casino and Oranje Casino. Betsson acquired both brands in 2014.

LeoVegas goes against the tide and resumes operations in the Netherlands

Meanwhile, LeoVegas announced this week that it will re-enter the Dutch market after receiving a five-year license from the KSA for its subsidiary 21 Heads Up Limited to operate online casino, live casino and sportsbook.

LeoVegas plans to launch in the current semester.

In June, Betsson announced it would enter the Belgian market by buying gaming and sports betting operator Betfirst Group for €120m.

It also reached a partnership agreement with Groupe Partouche to offer an online casino in the country.

The deal will give Betsson one of the biggest presences in the Belgian online betting market.

Betfirst was founded in 2011 and has licenses for online sports betting and dice games.

While the group manages around 450 retail outlets and a land-based arcade.

The company reported gaming revenue of €51.2 million and adjusted EBITDA of €10 million for the year ended December 31.

Betsson Netherlands flag
Photo: FreePik

Betsson second quarter results

Meanwhile, Betsson reported “record” quarterly results, with Q2 revenue reaching €237m, up 27% on 2022.

The group said “revenue from locally regulated markets where Betsson pays betting fees increased by 32% to €86m”.

Second-quarter gross profit increased 37% to €163 million, with a gross profit margin of 68%.

However, EBITDA was €67 million, 72% above the previous year.

Central and Eastern Europe and Central Asia (CEECA) was the company’s “excellent growth engine”, contributing a revenue increase of 68% to €102 million.

Nordic markets and Latin America contributed 22% each.

Growth in the Nordic countries was just 0.9% to €52 million, but Latin America continued to contribute significant growth with an increase of 12.5% ​​to €51 million.

Revenue in Western Europe grew by 8.8% to €27m, and Rest of the World (RoW) revenue grew by 18.9% to €4m, with Nigeria being its “top engine”.

In addition, the company expects that legislative challenges in Norway, Finland, Sweden, Germany, Belgium and Estonia will affect the group’s performance in the coming quarters.

Group CEO analysis

Group CEO Pontus Lindwall said: “I am pleased to look forward to another record quarter for Betsson with continued high customer activity and strong financial performance.

“Our business generates strong cash flows, and the strong balance sheet constantly facilitates new growth initiatives.”

“It is the mix of investments in new markets, organically and via acquisitions, which has contributed to the good financial performance over time”, he concluded.