By Simon Wright Dec 16, 2022
The Gaming Innovation Group who up to recently used to be associated as an operator of online casinos until selling the likes of Guts Casino and Rizk to the Betsson Group back in February of 2020, in what was at the time somewhat of a shock move on their part.
At the time of the sale to Betsson, GiG explained that the move was so that they could concentrate on their B2C business, primarily that of GiG Comply which is involved in providing a solution for operators concerning regulatory compliance in the iGaming space.
Well fast forward nearly two years and the news coming out that GiG have reached an agreement with their fellow Swedes Catena Media for the acquisition of their Ask Gamblers affiliate site for an eye watering €45million.
A Press Release issued on the GiG site explaining the acquisition states: “Gaming Innovation Group Inc. (GiG) has today signed an agreement to acquire the casino affiliate websites Askgamblers.com, Johnslots.com, Newcasinos.com and several smaller domains from Catena Media Plc. The total consideration is EUR 45 million, of which EUR 20 million will be paid in cash on closing, EUR 10 million twelve months after closing and the EUR 15 million balance 24 months after closing. Closing is expected in Q1 2023.”
So it looks like GiG have turned full circle from once being a fairly successful online casino operator, to now becoming the owner of one of the largest affiliate networks in the iGaming sector.
Commenting on the news, Morten Hillestad, Director of Business Development in GiG Media, said: “After three years of consolidating and expanding the GiG Media business – realizing strong annual organic growth – the time was ripe to act when this acquisition opportunity emerged.”
“GiG Media has developed world class marketing technology and operational capabilities over the preceding years, and we feel that bringing the AskGamblers brand into the company structure will provide multiple opportunities for it to flourish.”
Adding to Hillestad’s comments, Jonas Warrer, Managing Director of GiG Media, said: “We are very pleased to welcome quality websites such as askgamblers.com into the business and look forward to integrating with the skilled teams that have built up the websites acquired. We want to be the leading casino affiliate in the industry, and this acquisition cements our position.”
The last couple of years have appeared to be challenging for Catena Media and seven months ago in May 2022 , they indicated that they were looking to move their focus away from Europe due to the tighter regulatory pressures in place. This followed challenging financial conditions after posting a loss during 2019 of €10.5m which they announced in February 2020.
Speaking about the agreed sale of Ask Gamblers and several other domain names to GiG, Catena Media’s Chief Executive Officer Michael Daly stated: “Today’s agreement is a major step in our journey to focus the business on online sports betting and casino affiliation in high-growth, regulated markets in the Americas.”
“I am confident that in GiG we have found a buyer that will provide a strong environment for AskGamblers and the other brands and their talented people to develop and grow.”
Lastly Richard Brown the CEO of Gaming Innovation Group, heralding the deal said: “GiG is extremely excited to take over the premium AskGamblers brand from Catena. Combining the assets with GiG’s media technology and operational capabilities, provides us with a great opportunity to expand our global reach and to deliver a path for the brand to continue with its strong evolution.”
“The expansion of our strategic position in conjunction with the deal structure gives the group another great blueprint for growth. We look forward to integrating the assets and current staff into Gaming Innovation Group.”