Sportium Acquires Marca Apuestas

Sportium has taken ownership of Unidad Editorial’s gambling division, Marca Apuestas, and has also incorporated Sportium Chief Executive Alberto Eljarrat and CIRSA Digital Director Mikel Lopez de Torre in the business.

Unidad Editorial’s Acquisition and Executive Leadership’s Reshuffling

Sportium, which is owned by gambling multinational Cirsa Gaming Corporation, has taken control of Unidad Editorial’s gambling division, Marca Apuestas. The latter is the sports betting subsidiary of Spain’s top-selling daily sports newspaper Marca.

The Official Mercantile Registry Newsletter has announced the departure of Unidad Editorial executives Nicola Speroni and Stefania Bedogni as general secretaries of the business. They will be replaced by Sportium Chief Executive Alberto Eljarrat and CIRSA Digital Director Mikel Lopez de Torre.

In addition, Marca Apuestas’ DGOJ online gambling license was transferred to ‘Bet on Red Digital,’ a new subsidiary established by Sportium. The move is part of a further reshuffling of ownership.

Marca Apuestas to Boost Sportium’s Leadership Position in Spain

Unidad Editorial appeared on the gaming scene back in 2012. The group saw the Marca betting business as a perfect tool to leverage the sharp drop in advertising revenue in the midst of a crisis.

At that time, Spain introduced the revised Gambling Act regime to regulate online gambling businesses. Actually, the firm is known commercially as Marca Apuestas and also features other signature brands, such as Liga Fantástica Marca, Baloncesto Fantástico de Marca and Liga Fantástica.

However, Marca Apuestas did not reach Unidad Editorial’s initial objectives and the brand was discontinued. In 2016, the group changed the direction of its market strategy and formed a new ‘Juegos’ subsidiary. Marca Apuestas emerged once again, this time in partnership with Playtech Plc to serve as Juegos’ lead iGaming and sports betting platform provider.

Unidad Editorial and Sportium did not unveil details related to the ownership of Marca’s La Liga and ACB Basketball fantasy sports games operated by the Juegos subsidiary.

Sportium’s acquisition of Marca Apuestas will reinforce the operator’s leadership position in the gaming sector in Spain. In addition, it will give the company an economic boost after a few challenging months given the slow economic activity and the empty sports calendar as a result of the pandemic.

The group posted a negative net result of EUR254.6 million in 2020, compared to a loss of EUR6.66 million registered in 2019. After the incorporation of the Unidad Editorial sportsbook arm, the group continues its expansion beyond the nine countries, where it is already present. Cirsa operates 151 casinos, more than 83,000 arcade machines, 79 bingo halls, 237 lounges, and nearly 3,000 sports betting points.

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