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Business & Economy

Sunderland’s Tombola bought by Flutter Entertainment in £402 million deal

Sunderland online bingo firm Tombola has been sold for more than £400 million.

The firm has been snapped up by Paddy Power and Betfair operator Flutter Entertainment.

The sale – valued at £402 million – is expected to be completed early next year.

Flutter Entertainment, which also includes the PokerStars brand, said it is “delighted to add the UK’s premier bingo brand to the group”.

Based on Sunderland’s Low Street, next to the River Wear, Tombola employs more than 700 staff, with its suite of bingo and roulette games attracting around 400,000 players every month.

According to results for the financial year to the end of April 2021, the firm – founded by Phil Cronin – generated pro forma revenue of £164 million and earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) of £38.5 million.

Peter Jackson, Flutter Entertainments’ chief executive, said: “As the world’s leading online gambling operator, we are delighted to add Tombola, the UK’s premier bingo brand, to the group.

“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 our safer gambling strategy, and I am excited to combine our digital marketing expertise with Tombola’s operational capabilities within the UK and Ireland division.

“As the time comes for Phil to hand over the reins, I would like to thank him for building the success story that the business is today, and I look forward to welcoming the Tombola team to Flutter and growing a sustainable business for the future together.”

Main picture: James Newton