Georgia-based Adjarabet became the latest online poker room to join the Isle Of Man-based Microgaming Poker Network (MPN) this week. Additionally, the online poker room became the first to join the MPN network utilizing its own unique and completely tailored client by Georgian development house Singular using the Babelfish API.
Adjarabet is Armenian biggest bookmaker for online sports betting and gambling. Visit Adjarabet.am site for sportsbook; poker; online casino & skill games.
Since being founded in 1998, Adjarabet grew into the market leader for poker, sports betting, skill games, and online casino games in Georgia. The move to MPN will more than double the amount of cash-game players on the network. According to PokerScout, Adjarabet is currently home to 700 active ring-game players based on a seven-day rolling average, while MPN has an average of 650 players.
The move to MPN was made possible due to the new Babelfish API technology the network allows its partners to utilize. According to Head of Poker at Microgaming, Alex Scott, the Babelfish API technology allows potential partners to customize their poker client better than ever before without incurring expensive hosting and server-related costs.
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'It allows operators to customize their poker software to a higher degree than has ever been possible before, without having to go standalone,' explained Scott when announcing this technology in Jan. 2015. 'Furthermore, it allows them to do this without having to worry about expensive hosting costs, random number generators, or any of the other complexities that come with developing server software.'
This technology has already proven successful bringing new life into the poker network, with the potential of more growth if other online poker operators follow Adjarabet's lead. At a minimum, it should prevent current partners from leaving the network, such as Unibet Poker did around this time last year when the online poker operator launched its own stand-alone client powered by Relax Gaming.
Scott appears to be thrilled that the new Babelfish API has quickly brought such a big partner to its poker network as he stated, 'Adjarabet has generated a lot of interest in the last couple of years and naturally I am thrilled that they have chosen Microgaming and our Babelfish technology to take their poker platform to the next level. It has been a pleasure working with Singular and Adjarabet to do something that has never been done before in poker, and I’m very excited to see how we can grow poker together over the coming years.'
Speaking on the decision to join the MPN network, the Head of Poker for Adjarabet, Alastair Ives, said, 'We were looking for a partner to help us grow and improve our poker offering; when Microgaming presented Babelfish we knew it was exactly what we needed. The Babelfish API allows us to offer a product that is completely tailored to our customer base, eliminating the pain of migrating to a new software provider. We are very happy with how the process has been handled and with the results of the migration so far.'
In related news, the planned Tbilisi, Georgia, stop of the MPN Poker Tour will be run in conjunction with Adjarabet. This leg of the poker tour will take place from May 28-31 at the Tbilisi Sports Palace. Qualifiers and sub-qualifiers for the €550 buy-in Main Event are now running on MPN starting at just €0.25.
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Paddy Power Betfair has acquired an initial 51% stake in Georgian online sports and betting brand Adjarabet for €101m (£88.3m/$115.6m) in cash.
The operator said the deal forms part of its European diversification plans, with the acquisition securing its place in the Georgian igaming market.
Adjarabet is recognised as one of the leading operators in Georgia, with a market share of around 40% based on customer deposit data in the country. It also has a presence in neighbouring Armenia through an exclusive marketing relationship with Adjaranet.
The operator offers a full range of online betting and gaming services in Georgia including casino titles, sports betting, poker and peer-to-peer games. In 2018, Adjarabet posted revenue of £64m and £20m in EBITDA.
Paddy Power Betfair has the option to purchase the remaining 49% stake in the operator after a period of three years, at a valuation equivalent to seven times Adjarabet’s EBITDA in 2021. This can be settled in cash or shares.
Peter Jackson, chief executive of Paddy Power Betfair, said: “This bolt-on acquisition is in line with our strategy of establishing podium positions in attractive online markets.
“Adjarabet’s leading brand presence and strong management team has established it as the clear no.1 in the fast-growing, regulated online Georgian market.
“Together with our group’s technology and sports capabilities, we are confident that Adjarabet will be strongly positioned to continue to build on this success.”
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Paddy Power Betfair did not go into detail as to how the acquisition of the stake in Adjarabet would impact its own financial results.
In Q3, Paddy Power Betfair posted revenue of £483m, up 8% on a proforma basis and 12% in constant currency. Online revenue from Europe during the period also increased by 15%.
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Reflecting on the deal, Regulus analysts said while Paddy Power Betfair has cited an expected compound annual growth rate of 40% in Georgia, it warned that the country’s market is not risk free.
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Regulus said such revenue characteristics “potentially raise questions around sustainability, safer gambling, KYC and AML”, citing both the geography and political history of the country.
Analysts also compared the acquisition to GVC Holdings’ purchase of a 51% stake in Mars LLC (Crystalbet) in March of last year in terms of geography and structure. But Regulus said Paddy Power Betfair will benefit from Adjarabet being the market leader, largely due to its brand links with Adjaranet. Best online betting websites.