888Africa has announced its acquisition of BetLion, a gaming operator established in 2017 by Victor Chandler, for an undisclosed sum. This move is set to bolster 888’s African business venture and its expansion efforts on the continent.
BetLion: A Boost to 888Africa’s Local Talent Pool
BetLion, based in Nairobi, brings a wealth of local talent to 888Africa, along with a highly localized front-end backed by a bespoke product and platform. Currently licensed in Kenya, Zambia, and the Democratic Republic of Congo, BetLion is well-positioned to help scale 888’s African business while adding more than three million registered customers who enjoy playing games such as Live Casino, Blackjack, Roulette amongst others.
Christopher Coyne, CEO of 888Africa, views this acquisition as a crucial step in their mission to create unique betting and gaming experiences for players across Africa. He expressed excitement over the talent and technology at BetLion, stating it aligns perfectly with their growth model and ambitions. He also voiced eagerness to collaborate with their new colleagues and introduce new customers to their local brands.
BetLion’s Rich Industry Heritage
Victor Chandler founded BetLion in 2017, targeting the East African region. The company provides high-quality, low data, mobile app betting and igaming to customers using a custom front-end solution and FSB’s sportsbook technology. Robert Chirchir, Managing Director at BetLion, sees this union as an exciting opportunity to support 888Africa’s expansion journey through their market-leading casino software, platform, and established licenses across the region.
Expanding 888’s African Joint Venture
The acquisition of BetLion, with its three million customers, further solidifies 888Africa’s presence on the African continent. Formed in March 2022 as a joint venture between 888 and a group of industry veterans, it currently operates in Kenya, Tanzania, Mozambique, and Zambia.
888 holds a minority stake in the business and collects a license fee for the use and operation of brands such as 888Bet in Africa. The company is led by former Stars Group CMO Christopher Coyne as CEO, with former Stars’ sportsbook managing director Andrew Lee and trading director Ian Marmion, Helen Scott-Allen, ex-CFO at Premier Bet, and Alex Rutherford, ex-chief product officer at Editec, making up the management team.
Though currently owning only a minority stake, 888 has the option to increase its holding and ultimately buy the business outright, paving the way for even greater expansion in the future.