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Flutter buys UK online bingo operator Tombola for 402 million pounds

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DUBLIN (Reuters) - Flutter Entertainment has acquired Tombola, one of the UK's leading online bingo operators, for an enterprise value of 402 million pounds ($542 million), the Paddy Power, Betfair and Fanduel owner said on Thursday.

The world's largest online betting group said the deal would diversify its products, expand its position in an area where historically it has not had a big presence, add a sustainable player base and enhance Flutter's operations in its core UK market.

It will also add further product capabilities and expertise, the Dublin-based group said.

With gambling groups under pressure to make their markets less risky for punters, Flutter noted that Tombola was the first major UK-focused operator to introduce both mandatory staking and deposit limits.

In its financial year to end April 2021, Tombola generated pro-forma revenue of 164 million pounds and EBITDA of 38.5 million pounds. The transaction is conditional on regulatory clearance and expected to complete in first quarter of 2022.

"Tombola is a business we have long admired for its product expertise, highly recreational customer base and focus on sustainable play. The brand aligns closely with Flutter's safer gambling strategy, a key area of focus for us," Flutter Chief Executive Peter Jackson said in a statement.

($1 = 0.7410 pounds)

(Reporting by Padraic Halpin. Editing by Jane Merriman)

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