BetBright closes after 888 acquisition

5 March 2019

Irish sports betting operator BetBright has ceased gambling operations following its acquisition by 888 Holdings.

The London-listed online gaming operator will pay £15m (€17.4m/$19.7m) to purchase certain assets of Dedsert Limited, Dedsert Ireland Limited and its affiliates, which together operate as BetBright.

888 has yet to confirm when it expects the deal to be finalised, but it has now been revealed that Dedsert Ireland Limited, trading as BetBright, has shut down operations.

In a message posted on its website, BetBright has said that it will cease offering gambling services to customers “on a permanent basis”.

Customers will be able to access their BetBright accounts for a period of 30 days from today (March 5) to withdraw any funds or winnings in full.

Responding to the news, analysts from Regulus have issued a damning verdict on BetBright and its business plan. Analysts said that since 2013, some £60m has been invested in BetBright, but the fact it was only sold for £15m suggests a “complete business failure rather strategic realignment”.

Regulus said the brand’s demise in could be due in part to tax rises in the UK and Ireland, as well as an underlying market slowdown affecting its early-stage growth projections.

Regulus also said high investment in marketing can help businesses such as BetBright create an illusion of scale, but said the operator's low sale price showed that such an approach can collapse if there is no return in this marketing spend.

“A big question for the industry now is whether increasing maturity will slow down the rate at which ‘disruptive’ entrants perennially upset the economics of heavy user monetisation (driving organic consolidation), or whether regulatory-technology change will create a new wave of business disruption (pushing the risk of business failure up the food-chain),” Regulus said.

Image: Bryan Mills