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This article was published on March 19, 2013

Unibet buys a 45% stake in real-money Facebook gambling game maker Bonza

Unibet buys a 45% stake in real-money Facebook gambling game maker Bonza
Robin Wauters
Story by

Robin Wauters

Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family a Robin Wauters is the European Editor of The Next Web. He describes himself as a hopeless cyberflâneur, a lover of startups, his family and Belgian beer. If you'd like to know more about Robin, head on over to robinwauters.com or follow him on Twitter.

London-based but Valetta, Malta-headquartered online gambling giant Unibet today announced that it has acquired a company called ‘Social Gambling (Channel Islands)’ or SGCI for a nominal fee of £100 ($151) – yes that’s not a typo – and a £2 million ($3 million) loan facility.

This probably doesn’t mean much to you, but perhaps it will after this explanation: SGCI is effectively a shell company set up by Sportingbet for its recently started joint-venture with social casino games startup Plumbee, dubbed Bonza Gaming.

And the interesting thing about Bonza Gaming is that it is trying to build a real-money social gambling business on top of the Facebook platform, one of the first companies to explore the potentially lucrative space.

Bonza Gaming’s first social gambling game for Facebook, Bonza Slots, was launched for the UK market at the start of 2013.

Unibet is buying 100 percent of SGCI, which itself holds slightly less than a 50 percent interest in Bonza Gaming. After the transaction and some dilution for incentive schemes and whatnot, Unibet’s equity interest in Bonza will be approximately 45 percent.

Unibet is one of the largest online gambling operators in the European market with over 7.2 million customers worldwide.

In 2012, the company’s turnover was £197.2 million (nearly $300 million).

Also read:

Gamesys acquires Virgin Games to bolster real-money and social gambling games portfolio

Image credit: Joel Kramer / Flickr