From the press and the media

On the way to the iGaming Mecca: Jacob Engel intends to issue gambling activity worth half a Billion USD

Realtor Jacob Engel, whose operations also include international mining concerns, has started negotiations with underwriters in order to raise USD 70 million for Tenlot, his gambling company, according to a USD 500 million valuation at the Stockholm Stock Exchange in Sweden. Calcalist has learned this: Tenlot, which was founded a few years ago, operates in countries in Latin America and in Africa. Within its activities, the company provides a technological platform for the operation of lotteries and sport games. It has created and it runs thousands of selling points in the countries in which it operates, pursuant to government franchises.

Mr. Jacob Engel
Chairman and Owner

In Guatemala, whose population is 18 million, Tenlot has created over 3,000 selling points for lottery games with tens of local employees. The operating license in the country was granted to Tenlot for 25 years, and Tenlot intends to expand its operations to sports games as well. In the Western African country of Ghana (population: 28 million), Tenlot has started operations in conjunction with the government, with an objective of trebling the annual sales within two years. The company has 10,000 selling points in Ghana and an operating license for twenty years.

Furthermore, Tenlot has invested millions of dollars in adapting its technological platform and in creating luck-based games for the local culture. Within its future plan of operations, in the short term Tenlot plans to keep expanding into further countries, by investing (among others) in Mexico, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique – all based on a government license in each country. Tenlot is expected to expand its operations, which now includes the sale of lottery drawings and scratch cards, to sports gambling and additional games.

Mr. Yossi Abadi

Royalties out of revenues

In exchange for the operating licenses, Tenlot pays royalties to the governments, out of its revenues, in the countries in which it operates. The royalties go to social development and contributions. In addition, Tenlot helps in the fields of medicine and education in those countries. According to Yossi Abadi, the company CEO: "Tenlot´s objective is to become a world leader in operating lottery and sports gambling within three years. The company focuses on emerging economies, with a significant potential for growth”.

Calcalist has learned that the estimated turnover of the company is USD 150 million per year. The company has elected to issue stock in the Swedish stock exchange, which has become a preferred destination for gaming companies, and which competes with the London Stock Exchange on the number of companies traded therein, from this industry. In an article published on June 2018 in Bloomberg, Stockholm was described as a European trade center in iGaming stock – a field closely related to Tenlot´s businesss activities.

The capital of the gambling companies

19 companies from this industry are traded in Stockholm – compared to 16 in London. The presence of this sector is much less impressive in other markets in Europe, which are much larger in terms of the number of public companies. For example, in each of France, Germany and Switzerland, only four public companies from the gambling sector are traded. According to analysts, the reason that gambling companies choose to issue stock at Stockholm is mainly related to the supportive community that emerged there, to relevant centers of knowledge and to experience and professional know-how that were accumulated by the local investors in the sector. Among the companies, whose stock was issued in Stockholm one may find Better Collective, which has established a social network for gambling, whose members are supposed to share information concerning improved chances in sports gambling games.

Another company, which was issued and is traded there, is LeoVegas – an online casino for mobile devices, which also proposes sports gambling and gaming services. This company has 600 employees and a market value of about USD 450 million (4 billion Swedish crowns). Its revenues for the third quarter of 2018 stood at EUR 78.6 million.

In Israel, Engel (69) is mainly associated with real estate. In the 1990s he founded the Engel Company (Lagna Resources). The company benefited from the large immigration wave from the former Soviet Union, and it built tens of thousands of residential units for the immigrants in the periphery. A decade later, Lagna built productive residential clusters, which it leased out to new immigrants, whose rental fees were subsidized by the state. Alongside the company´s operations in Israel, it has started operations in Eastern Europe, where it was considered a leading entrepreneur in the residential construction sector.

In 2007, Langa was sold to the Azorim Group, which was then owned by Ultra-Orthodox businessman Shaya Boymelgreen, for USD 120 million. Before it was sold, the corporate group owned by Engel has built tens of thousands of residential units in Israel, Romania, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Poland, Hungary and Germany, with a monetary value of billions of dollars. Under Boymelgreen´s control, Lagna reached insolvency and liquidation. Nowadays, beyond the new activity in the field of online gaming, Engel has real estate operations in Israel, mainly in Tama 38 projects – reinforcement of buildings – through the Engelinvest group.

Among the greatest players in the world

Through the Elenilto Group, which has won a tender for the development of a mine in Togo, Engel is also considered as one of the greatest players worldwide in the field of mining and quarried minerals. The tender involves mining for fertilizers and phosphates at a cost of USD 1.4 billion. Elenilto will act within a consortium designated to mine five million tons of phosphates and fertilizers every year, in a project that will yield USD 28 billion in estimated annual turnover. In 2010, Elenilto has won one of the biggest mining tenders in the world, for the mining of iron ore from three mines in Liberia. Despite the huge profit estimates, Engel has elected to sell the franchise for USD 123 million.

In recent years, Engel is also involved in the technology sector – he locates and invests in startup companies through his investment fund, ATOORO. The investments portfolio described at the website of the fund speaks of investments in fourteen different startup companies, some in the mobile technology sectors and others in biotechnology and cyber technology. One of ATOORO´s investments is a participation, together with Alon Arbov´s Clear Future, in the USD 5 million raised by Inpedio, a company which provides solutions against cyber-attacks; another investment was made in Elta Systems, which belongs to the Israel Aerospace Industries, in mid-2017.