Poland Grants License to Cherry Online Subsidiary
Online gambling group Cherry Online (Cherry AB) subsidiary has been granted a sports betting license by the Polish Ministry of Finance. Cherry Online Polska is now the ninth licensed gambling operator in Poland and the second company to get a license under the recently amended Poland Gambling Act of 2009.
The Swedish company will introduce its first online sportsbook for Polish customers soon. Cherry AB is acquiring licenses in other European jurisdictions as part of its expansion plans. Its UK subsidiary PlayCherry LTD received a sports betting and casino license from UK Gambling Commission (UKGC) in 2016.
PlayCherry LTD then introduced its UK customers to Sunmaker, Euroslots and Cherry brands. The company already holds licenses to operate in Curacao, Schleswig-Holstein, and Malta. It boosted its stake in German online casino and sportsbook operate Almor Holding Ltd. And purchased a 25% stake in gaming technology firm Highlight Games Ltd.
Cherry AB acquired 49% shares of Malta-based ComeOn, an online gambling operator in 2016 for $274 million. The company’s revenues tripled in the first half of 2017 following the acquisition. In the second half of the year, it acquired the remaining shares for $326 million.
ComeOn launched a popular product called Snabbare.com in the Swedish market following the acquisition. The product provides a fast-track casino gambling experience with simpler registration process and easier winning withdrawals.
Cherry AB earned a total revenue of $251 million (SEK 2,200m) in 2017, earning a profit of $45.6 million (SEK 400m). ComeOn’s acquisition helped the company reverse negative trends (as well as negative PR) in the middle of 2017, making it profitable by year end.
The company’s software development division Yggdrasil Gaming, affiliate business Game Lounge, technology, and payments business XCaliber and its restaurant casino division Cherry Spelgladje also reported significant revenue growth in year 2017.
Former CEO of Cherry AB, Anders Holmgren, is under investigation by the Swedish Economic Crime Authority (SECA) since May last year. He was allegedly involved in insider trading. Holmgren was arrested after the SECA searched the head office of the company.
Gunnar Lind, the chairman of the Cherry Audit Committee and its former CEO between 2006 and 2011 was the acting CEO of the company during the investigation after Holmgren was terminated. He will continue in this role until the company finds a Holmgren’s successor.