What is the next step for Tipster?
The raid on Tipster in April 2023 made waves among German bookmakers and players alike. It was investigated for illegal gambling, tax evasion, illegal employment and forming a criminal organisation, among other things. The betting company eventually lost its licence. A million-dollar fraud was uncovered. Now there is news about the future of the bookmaker.
Tipster was one of the largest online bookmakers in Germany until April 2023. According to current estimates, it had an average annual turnover of more than €100 million. Between 2014 and 2020, however, it is thought to have evaded the tax authorities by around €700 million. Following a report from an employee, an investigation was launched that culminated in a large-scale raid.
More than 900 police officers from all over Europe were involved in the operation, which lasted several hours. The North Rhine-Westphalia State Office of Criminal Investigation, which was in charge of the operation, reported that evidence, cash and valuables were seized and assets worth tens of millions of euros were confiscated. Several arrests were made among Tipster's management. The Joint Gaming Authority of the Federal States (GGL) also took action in June 2023: Tipster Ltd. was stripped of its German licence to organise sports betting.
An insolvency administrator is now looking after what remains of the company. Now the Süddeutsche Zeitung (SZ) reports that an entrepreneur from the Ruhr area has bought Tipster for millions. So far there are not too many details. Nevertheless, the matter is of course very interesting.
Dennis Lindner buys the remains of Tipster
The SZ recently reported that businessman Dennis Lindner paid a "sum in the millions" for the "remains of the Tipster company". Further details have not yet been released, but the move makes it likely that the betting provider will return to the market. However, given the current situation, it may be some time before this happens:
- According to the SZ, Lindner would have to invest heavily if he wanted to re-establish Tipster on the German market. At least five million euros would have to be deposited with GGL as security for the licence in Germany alone.
- It is also likely to take some time to reach an agreement with the current insolvency administrator, which will delay a return to operations.
- Last but not least, the sports betting landscape in this country is full of very strong brands. It will therefore take much more than a new German licence to survive in the market. The franchise business around stationary betting shops, which is to be revived, could become a certain advantage.
In recent weeks there has been much speculation in the media that the big boys might join the brand. The names of Tipico, Gauselmann and Admiral have all been mentioned. Such a merger would have been conceivable simply because these brands also operate bricks-and-mortar betting shops. However, with the purchase of Dennis Lindner, the rumours have largely been put to bed.
Insolvency administrator plans the reconstruction process
Dr Jörg Gollnick of the Cologne law firm Heidland Werres Diederichs Rechtsanwälte (HWD) has been appointed as insolvency administrator for Tipster Ltd. He announced that a structured insolvency process had been set up to secure the long-term future of the business with a strong partner. This will include the franchisees who have been left out in the cold following the events. The strong partner now appears to be Dennis Lindner.
Whether he really wants to rebuild the brand in the end, however, is not yet 100 per cent certain. After all, there are still some assets in the company's remains that could be worth millions. The SZ speculates that Lindner is after the valuable algorithms used to run the betting service. The large amount of customer data would also be of great value. According to the insolvency administrator, however, it is highly likely that the business will be resumed.
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