Pending regulation and taxes could ignite a boom in online gambling mergers and acquisitions next year that could herald massive consolidation like that seen in the global beer industry, one that has left three giant brewing companies and a host of niche craft brewers, one analyst said on Friday.
Licensing and taxes pending in countries like the Netherlands, Sweden and Australia, plus tightening rules in the UK and elsewhere, mean squeezed margins that will have gambling operators seeking to get bigger in a hurry, said Simon French, a leisure analyst with UK-based Cenkos Securities.
laundering and data protection rules is “going to fundamentally change the way people do business,” said Susan Breen, an attorney with London-based Mischcon de Reya. The situation is leading to some “pretty frightened companies,” and thus could spur M&A, she said. At the least, it will lead companies to investigate less-saturated markets opening up, such as Brazil, Colombia and in Africa, she said.
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