Enlabs finalises acquisition of Belarus’s KDB Games

26 November 2019

Baltic-facing operator Enlabs has completed its acquisition of KDB Games, a land-based gaming business in Belarus, as it prepares to apply for an online gambling licence in the country.

The deal, which was first announced in August, is worth approximately €127,000 (£108,712/$139,931), with Enlabs to purchase all of the shares in KDB.

New laws regulating the Belarus gambling market came into effect on April 1 this year, with the technical blocking of unlicensed operators to begin in April 2021. In order to secure an igaming permit, an operator must have held a land-based licence for at least two years.

Other prerequisites include platform certification and integration to the regulator’s system, an appropriate board and management team and an agreement to pay a $1m (£777,443/€907,576) deposit.

As such, Enlabs said that after carrying out legal and financial due diligence, it is of the opinion that KDB is eligible for an online licence. Should the application be successful, Enlabs plans to launch online gaming in Belarus via its Optibet brand.

“We are very satisfied to finalise this acquisition and start the online licence application process,” Enlabs chief executive Robert Andersson said. “We are eager to get going and aiming for an initial launch in the first half of 2020.

“As we have communicated earlier, this acquisition won’t have immediate effect on our financial results, but it is an acquisition completely in-line with our strategy of entering emerging regulated markets in the Confederation of Independent States (CIS) region.”

iGaming licences will not come into effect until April 2021, with any activity in the country before this being deemed illegal. Operators that secure a licence will be subject to a 4% tax on gross gaming revenue.

“We aim to offer the largest selection of slots and live casino games, sportsbook, poker and bingo,” Andersson said. “We believe that there will be no more than 10 licensees in the mid-term future with main competition coming from the Eastern operators, which is a market climate we are very experienced in.”

Earlier this month, Enlabs posted record revenue for the third consecutive quarter, breaking the €10m barrier for the first time.