The Greek gambling operator group Intralot has always kept a keen eye on Russia. The group recently acquired the full ownership of Kelicom, a Russian information systems software and hardware manufacturer. So in addition to offering a chance to play online casino in Greece, Intralot is now seriously present on the Russian market.
Why is this so important? We all know how big the Russian market is. Kelicom controls almost three quarters (74.9 percent) of Russia’s Favorit Bookmakers Office. Favorit is not just one of the leading sports betting operators in Russia, but it has also access to a huge customer data base, which is now of course available to Intralot. Therefore, Intralot is now able to offer serious internet betting in Greece as well as Russia.
Talking about volume: Intralot already bought a third (33 percent) of Kelicom in June 2012. The remaining two thirds (67 percent) represent less than one percent of Intralot’s consolidated assets. The acquisition has been approved by the competent authorities in both countries. Note that Favorit, the Russian acquisition of Intralot, will not be operating under the Greek gambling laws, but under the strict Russian regulations.
Favorit is one of the oldest and most established sports betting companies in Russia. In the last 10 years Favorit let the Russian players bet on football, basketball, handball, tennis and several other sporting events. A sign of trust from the government is that the Russian Federal Tax Service changed Favorit’s 5-year license (given in 2009) to a non-expiring one in March 2012.
Ioannis Pantoleon, Intralot’s Group General Director of Finance & Business Development is optimistic about his company’s growth in Russia. ”By obtaining the full control of Favorit, we serve our strategy to further invest in the Russian regulated betting market and become one of its major players” the businessman said earlier this month. We’ll keep you posted on the further news about the acquisition.