Enlabs agrees to acquire Belarus operator

29 August 2019

Nasdaq First North-listed operator Enlabs has signed a letter of intent to acquire a licensed land-based gaming operator in Belarus.

Although Enlabs opted not to disclose the identity of the operator in question, it did say that the Belarusian business meets national requirements to secure an online gaming licence in the country.

As such, Enlabs views the acquisition as being “strategically very important” for its expansion into the regulated Belarusian online gaming market.

New laws regulating the country’s market came into effect on April 1, with the technical blocking of unlicensed operators to begin in April 2021.

In order to secure a licence in the new-look market, operators must meet a list of strict criteria, including several years’ land-based gaming operations in Belarus and funds in excess of $1m (£820,475/€902,865).

“Entering the Belarusian market is important for Enlabs’ continuing growth journey,” Enlabs’ chief executive and president Robert Andersson said. “We have long experience and knowledge from neighbouring markets and are firmly convinced of our opportunities to succeed in Belarus as well, a country in terms of population roughly the size of the Baltic states and with a total gaming market worth over five hundred million euros.

“The proportion of online gaming is relatively small at present, but we see great similarities to how the Baltic markets looked a decade ago. We expect a strong growing market where we look forward to being a leading player.

“The acquisition is fully in line with our strategy to focus on ’the Baltics and Beyond’ and work on the licence application for online gaming will begin immediately.”

Enlabs noted that the letter of intent does not guarantee that the deal will go ahead, with the acquisition to be preceded by due diligence of essential parts of the operator’s business, with a focus on the conditions regarding obtaining an online license.

Belarus is in close proximity to Enlabs’ key focus markets of Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. In July, Enlabs launched an online sportsbook for its Optibet brand in the Lithuania and also rolled out an Evolution Gaming-powered live casino offering in Estonia.

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