Updated May 31
Kings Entertainment Group and Sports Venture Holdings (SVH), the parent company of the Bet99 online sports and casino betting brand, have agreed to combine their operations into one sports betting and gaming-focused company.
SVH is a holding company of subsidiaries that operate Bet99, a former grey-market operator in the province and one of several brands going through the licensing process with the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario.
The deal is subject to closing conditions and should be completed at approximately the end of the third quarter of 2022. One condition of the merger is that Bet99 receives its license to operate in Ontario.
Steve Budin, CEO of Kings Entertainment, said the business combination of Kings and SVH will be “transformative” for the Canadian sports betting sector. “Our vision for Kings has always been to build leadership positions within each of the regulated jurisdictions that we enter, and this agreement will certainly accelerate that goal within the Canadian landscape and beyond.”
Jared Beber, CEO of SVH and the executive who will become the CEO of the merged company, which will rename itself Interactive Entertainment Group Inc., added that bringing Bet99 to public capital markets will support its expansion and give the brand a wider audience of betting enthusiasts.
Budin will continue to lead LottoKings operations and act in an advisory role.
Bet99 expects Ontario entry soon
Bet99 made headlines recently by signing Toronto Maple Leafs star Auston Matthews as a brand ambassador in a deal that saw Matthews become the first active NHLer to sign with a sportsbook. The brand has also partnered with the likes of UFC Hall of Famer Georges-St-Pierre, two-time Olympian Alysha Newman, the Ottawa Senators, the CF Montreal, the Montreal Alouettes, and more.
The brand is currently licensed only by the Kahnawá:ke Gaming Commission in Canada and has operated in the country’s grey market since 2020 prior to the launch of Ontario’s regulated gaming market. It also recently joined the Canadian Gaming Association.
Beber told Covers that Bet99 is “getting close” to being ready to go live in the province. While he couldn’t detail a specific timeline, he said that “we are well through the process and very much so nearing the finish line”.
He added that while Ontario is a highly competitive market, Bet99 feels it has made a name for itself and is approaching this market in a unique way.
A recent Bet99 press release noted that Bet99 has taken more than $1.2 billion in bets in Canada through its online sportsbook and casino since launching in 2020.