The sports betting and gaming provider betfirst, which was acquired by Betsson last year, has launched an online casino in Belgium thanks to a partnership with Middelkerke Casino, which is part of Groupe Partouche.

Betsson bought the Belgian Betfirst group in June 2023 in a deal worth €120.0m (£102.6m/$129.8m) and also partnered with Groupe Partouche for access to the Belgian Icasino- market.

Through the deal with Middelkerke Casino, the new online casino received an A+ casino license, with betFIRST aiming to become the “leading operator in the country” in online casino.

betFIRST’s foray into igaming comes after it became the first operator to receive an online betting license in Belgium following market regulation in 2011.

Alexis Murphy, Managing Director of betFIRST, said: “betFIRST already has the most powerful and fastest sports betting app on the Belgian market. We want to repeat this success with the most comprehensive mobile casino offering in Belgium.”

Jesper Svenssen, Managing Director of Betsson Operations, added: “We acquired a Belgian market leader last summer and are pleased to be able to already add value to the company through this unique partnership.”

Belgium is another step in Betsson’s expansion

The move to expand Betsson’s Belgian offering with an online casino was expected following its partnership with French casino operator Groupe Partouche.

The partnership should initially focus on Belgium, with the aim of later expanding into other regulated markets.

Two of these markets are France and Switzerland, with Groupe Partouche operating land-based casinos in both countries. Online casinos are legal in Switzerland, and while it is currently illegal in France, there have been recent attempts to legalize it.

Betsson also secured a license to offer online sports betting in France in September, a move that came after the company announced its entry into the Serbian market earlier this month.