Betsson purchased the Belgian Betfirst Group in a deal worth €120.0m (£102.6m/$129.8m) in June 2023, also striking a deal to partner with Groupe Partouche for access to Belgium’s icasino market.
The new online casino received an A+ casino licence by virtue of its deal with the Middelkerke Casino, with betFIRST looking to become the “country’s leading operator” in online casino.
betFIRST’s foray into igaming comes after it became the first operator to obtain an online betting licence in Belgium following the regulation of the market in 2011.
Alexis Murphy, chief executive of betFIRST, said: “betFIRST already has the best performing and fastest sports betting app on the Belgian market. We want to replicate this success with the most comprehensive mobile casino offering in Belgium.”
Betsson Operations chief executive Jesper Svenssen added: “We acquired a Belgian market leader last summer, and we are delighted to already be able to add value to the business through this unique partnership.”
Belgium another step in Betsson’s expansion
The move to add online casino to Betsson’s Belgian offering was expected after its partnership with the French casino operator Groupe Partouche.
The partnership was expected to initially focus on Belgium, with the aim to launch in other regulated markets afterwards.
Two of those markets are France and Switzerland, with Groupe Partouche operating land-based casinos in both of those countries. Online casino is legal in Switzerland, and while it is currently illegal in France, there have been attempts made of late to legalise it.