LeoVegas seals esports investment

13 September 2018

LeoVegas group chief executive Gustaf Hagman has said that the company’s acquisition of a 51% stake in Pixel Holding Group will provide it with a “unique insight” into the “fast-growing” esports sector.

Announced today (Thursday) by LeoVentures, which is operated by LeoVegas, the investment amounts to €1.5m (£1.3m/$1.8m).

Pixel Holding Group runs the Pixel.bet specialist esports betting operator, which at present is focused on Sweden and the Nordics, with plans to expand to more markets around the world.

LeoVegas said the deal should be completed before the end of the third quarter, but the operator does not expect the purchase to have “any significant effect” initially on earnings or its financial position.

Hagman (pictured), also co-founder of LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group, said: “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.”

Robin Ramm-Ericson, managing director of LeoVentures and co-founder of LeoVegas Mobile Gaming Group, added: “With its strong technology and mobile-first gaming experience, Pixel.bet is a perfect match for the LeoVegas. Together we will drive development for the absolute premier experience in esports betting.”

Eirik Kristiansen, CEO of Pixel.bet, also spoke positively about the “unique” link-up between the two companies.

He said: “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.”

LeoVegas recently spoke with iGamingBusiness.com about its ongoing growth plans, citing the US as a potential expansion market in the future.

Last month, the firm also announced that BetUK, which was acquired from IPS as part of a £65m deal earlier this year, is now accepting sports bets in the UK.

LeoVegas has also recently applied for a new licence in Sweden as the country prepares for re-regulation at the start of 2019. The company also revealed to iGamingBusiness.com recently that it could seek a licence in Spain.