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Malta-headquartered Glitnor Group is set to acquire a 37.5% stake in PlayStar Gaming Group in an effort to advance its expansion into the US market.

Financial and transactional details of the deal were not disclosed.

The transaction was agreed through Glitnor’s new venture capital arm – Glitnor Ventures – and is aligned with the company’s growth strategy to expand into North America this year.

Joel Wikell’s start-up

PlayStar, founded by its current chairman and online casino pioneer Joel Wikell, emerged onto the iGaming scene last summer with its launch in New Jersey.

In December 2022, PlayStar secured $15m in equity funding to support its launch in Pennsylvania.

Led by former Catena Media CEO Per Hellberg, PlayStar has established itself as a challenger brand in the market due to its “distinctive localised marketing approach”, Glitnor Group said.

In its first year of operation, the brand surpassed its targets and both parties are holding “incredibly high hopes” for their joint endeavours moving forward.

Glitnor Group co-founder Jörgen Nordlund (pictured) said: “Through our investment work with Glitnor Ventures, Glitnor Group aims to identify the best up-and-coming talent the iGaming industry has to offer – and in PlayStar, we believe we’ve identified the perfect partner in the US.

“Our investment in PlayStar comes off the back of an incredibly successful debut year for the brand that was characterised by an extensive range of locally-specific, community-focused promotions and we hope with our backing, they can go on to achieve bigger and better things in 2023.”

PlayStar Casino CEO Per Hellberg added: “PlayStar is delighted for Glitnor Group’s committed investments and we believe their ongoing interest in our brand is a fitting reward for what has been a remarkable debut year for us in the New Jersey market.

“With Glitnor Group’s funding and support behind us, I’m sure PlayStar will go from strength to strength in 2023 and beyond, enabling us to further cement our position as the preferred online casino in the thriving US market.”

Glitnor Group’s expansion

Glitnor Group’s operator brands, including LuckyCasino and HappyCasino, along with the B2B retention specialist Swintt, have experienced sustained growth in recent months.

In line with this growth, the company has recently relocated to a larger office space.

From 2024, the company is set to enter a new era under the leadership of newly appointed CEO Richard Brown.