Betfred targets South Africa after bookie acquisition
- bettingworld.co.za sold for £6.1 million
- Betting World owner Phumelela had filed for bankruptcy
- Betfred had looked to buy the company’s racetrack empire but lost out
The British bookmaker Betfred has gained a significant foothold in South Africa after buying the country’s Betting World site for £6.1 million.
Betfred sees the acquisition as the launch of a strategy to expand into the African continent.
Bettingworld.co.za is owned by Phumelela, the company that filed for bankruptcy last year. As well as the online betting vertical, Betfred had hoped to snap up Phumelela’s racetracks, too.
But the company lost out to a fund managed by South African mining family members Mary Oppenheimer-Slack and her daughter Jessica Jell, who were already creditors of the doomed Phumelela business.
While big news for Betfred, the development is important to the South African online sports betting landscape, with key operators all owned domestically up to now.
Betfred confirmed it had acquired Betting World as of June 1 and is currently in the processes of fulfilling its regulatory requirements.
Chief Commercial Officer Phil Siers said: “We are delighted to see the Betfred International service extended to South Africa, and look forward to becoming a leading South African bookmaker and providing a world-class service to all our new customers.
“The last 12 months have been difficult for all businesses, but Betfred is excited about the future of Betting World and intends to make a major investment in Africa over the coming years.”
Last summer, Phumelela Gaming Ltd suspended its trading on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as it filed for South African bankruptcy protection.