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NetEnt Casinos

Welcome to this fans’ site dedicated to NetEnt casino sites. This is not an ‘official’ site. We are not linked to NetEnt or its current owner, Evolution, in any way. We are not sponsored or supported by them, nor do we receive any financial payments from them. This is a fans’ site, pure and simple!  NetEnt is responsible for creating hundreds of slots available on NetEnt casinos today.  With its superb graphics and innovative designs, Net Ent (also known as Net Entertainment) is the name behind many of the most popular slots and casino games. If you aren’t sure if a NetEnt casino is trustworthy, we have a list of casinos that accept a £5 deposit here that are all fully licenced in the UK. These 5 pound casinos still allow you to claim the welcome bonus.

Top NetEnt Casino Sites

List of the best NetEnt online casino sites: most of the casinos below have free spins on NetEnt slots as part of their welcome bonus or have many of the suites of NetEnt slots available.

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To £200 + 200 Bonus Spins

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Jackpot Village Casino Jackpot Village opens up with a classy look, it feels like you are gaming in a very professional environment and is as slick and well polished as being in an actual high end casino. You’ll be greeted with their first deposit deals at first but scroll down...Read More

Terms & Conditions: Exclusive Welcome offer 100% Match Bonus up to £200 plus 200 Bonus Spins on Book of Dead on 1st deposit. 18+. New players only. Minimum deposit £20. Max. bonus bet £5. Winnings from all spins credited as bonus funds and capped at £100. Bonus funds are separate to cash funds & subject to wagering requirement (40x deposit plus bonus). Only bonus funds contribute towards wagering requirement. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days, spins within 72hrs. Affordability checks & terms apply. please gamble responsibly. BeGambleAware.org.

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100% Bonus Up To £300 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: 100% Welcome Bonus up to £300 and 50 Bonus Spins on Starburst on 1st deposit. 18+. New Players Only. Minimum deposit £20. Max. bonus bet is £5. Bonus spins on selected games only and must be used within 72 hours. Winnings from Bonus spins credited as bonus funds and capped at £20. Bonus funds expire in 30 days, unused bonus funds will be removed. Bonus funds are separate to Cash funds, and are subject to 40x wagering the total bonus & cash. Only bonus funds count towards wagering contribution. Affordability checks apply. Terms apply. Please gamble responsibly. BeGambleAware.org.
SpinYoo

SpinYoo

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100% Bonus Up To £250 + 100 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% Deposit Bonus up to £250 + 100 Spins. 18+. New players only. Minimum Deposit £20. Maximum Bonus Bet £5. Bonus offer is 100% of first deposit up to £250 and 100 Yoo Spins valid on Starburst, Book of Dead, Fire Joker, Gonzo's Quest, and Big Bass Bonanza respectively (first 20 credited immediately upon first deposit; rest credited at 07:00 GMT at 20/day). Spins must be used by 23:59 GMT of the day on which they are credited, any unused shall be removed. Winnings from each 20 spins set capped at £50 and credited as bonus funds. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days. Bonus funds are separate to Cash funds, and are subject to 35x wagering of bonus funds and deposit amount. Only your bonus funds contribute towards any wagering requirements. Bonus funds can only be used on slot games. Full Terms Apply. Play responsibly. BeGambleAware.org.
Spin Rider

Spin Rider

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Deposit £25 and get 100 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer Deposit £25, Get 100 Bonus Spins on Big Bass Splash. 18+. New players only. Minimum deposit £25. Max. bonus bet is £5. Welcome offer is 100 bonus spins on BIG Bass Splash on your 1st deposit. Winnings from Bonus spins credited as bonus funds and capped at £100. Bonus funds are separate to Cash funds, and are subject to 35x wagering the total bonus & cash. Only bonus funds count towards wagering contribution. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days, spins within 72hrs. Affordability checks apply. Terms apply. BeGambleAware.org.
Atlantic Spins

Atlantic Spins

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150% Bonus Up To £150 + 100 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 150% Bonus up to £150 & 100 Spins on Book of Dead. New Players Only 18+ (UK only). Minimum Deposit £20. Maximum Offer 150% Bonus up to £150 & 100 Spins on Book of Dead. Bonus & Spins winnings must be wagered 35x before withdrawal. Spins expire after 24hours. Promo Code BOOK100. Withdrawal terms apply. Valid until further notice. www.begambleaware.org. Full T&Cs apply.
Miami Dice

Miami Dice

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100% Bonus Up To £50

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Terms & Conditions: 100% match up to £50. 18+. New players only. Minimum deposit £20. Max. bonus bet is £5. Bonus funds expire in 30 days, unused bonus funds will be removed. Welcome Offer is 100% of your first deposit up to £50. Bonus funds are separate to Cash funds, and are subject to 35x wagering the total bonus & cash. Only bonus funds count towards wagering contribution. Affordability checks apply. Terms apply. BeGambleAware.org. Full terms apply.
Luckland

Luckland

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100% Bonus Up To £50 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% up to £50 + 50 Spins on Starburst. New players only. 18+. Minimum deposit £20. 40x wagering applies to match up bonus. Offer valid for 1 week. 40x wagering applies to Spins. Full terms apply.

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100% Bonus Up To £50 + 100 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome package worth up to £200 and 100 spins over first 3 deposits, starting with 100% bonus up to £50 and 100 spins on 1st deposit. New players only. Minimum deposit £10. Spins will be given as 20 per day over 5 days on games Starburst, Finn and the Swirly Spin, Book of Dead, Legacy of Dead and Starburst respectively. 35x wagering requirement applies to match up bonus. 35x wagering applies. This offer is available to players residing in United Kingdom only. Deposits may be withdrawn before a player’s wagering requirements have been fulfilled. However, if this occurs, all bonuses and winnings will be voided/removed from the player’s account. Free spins winnings capped at £100. Full terms apply.
Zetbet Casino

Zetbet Casino

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 50% bonus up to £50 plus 20 spins on 9 Masks of Fire on 1st deposit. This is part of a welcome package worth up to £200 and 100 spins over 1st 3 deposits. New players only. Minimum deposit £10. 35x wagering requirement applies to match bonus and free spins. Full terms apply.
Vegasland

Vegasland

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50% Bonus Up To £50 + 20 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome package giving up to £200 Bonus and 100 Spins over 3 deposits, starting with 50% bonus up to £50 + 20 Spins on Starburst on 1st deposit. New players only. Welcome package split over 3 deposits. Minimum deposit £10. 35x wagering requirement applies to match up bonus and spins. Spins expire after 24 hours. Full terms apply.

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100% Bonus Up To £100 + 100 Bonus Spins

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  • ✂️ Enter Bonus Code WINO100
  • ✅ Independent Casino
  • ✅ Pay By: Boku + 6 more
  • ✅ Games From: NetEnt + 7 more
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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% up to £100 and 100 Bonus Spins. 1st deposit only. Bonus code WINO100 required. Minimum deposit £10. Maximum bonus £100. x40 wagering. Bonus spins given as 25 Spins on Cleopatra, 25 Spins on Gold Rush, 25 Spins on Wild Eagle and 25 Spins on Scratch King. x40 wagering on bonus spins winnings. Expire within 24 hrs. Full terms apply.
Bzeebet

Bzeebet

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% up to £100 + 100 Spins on Big Bass Bonanza. 18+. New Players Only. Minimum Dep £20. Offer: 100% of 1st deposit up to £100 + 100 Spins on Big Bass Bonanza. Spins expire after 23:59 GMT on day they are credited. Spins winnings credited as bonus, separate to Cash funds, & subject to 35x wagering of bonus + deposit amounts. Bonus funds expire after 21 days. Affordability checks apply. BeGambleAware.org. Terms Apply.
Mr Play Casino

Mr Play Casino

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Terms & Conditions: 100% bonus up to £50 plus 100 spins on 1st deposit. This is part of a welcome package worth up to £200 and 100 spins over 1st 3 deposits. New players only. Minimum deposit £10. 35x wagering requirement applies to match bonus. Offer valid for 1 week. 100 spins split as 20 spins per day for 5 days. Spins valid 20 each on Starburst, Finn and the Swirly Spin, Book of Dead, VIP Black and Aloha! Cluster Pays. 50x wagering requirement applies to free spins. Full terms apply.
Fruity King

Fruity King

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200% Bonus Up To £50 + 10 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome bonus 200% up to £50 plus 10 Free No Wager Spins on Reactoonz on 1st deposit. New Players Only. Minimum deposit £10. Deposit code FREEDEPOSIT required. Wagering occurs from real balance first. 50X wagering the bonus. Contribution may vary per game. Available on selected games only. The wagering requirement is calculated on bonus bets only. Bonus valid 30 Days from receipt. Maximum conversion: 3 times the bonus amount. Withdrawal requests void all active/pending bonuses. Excluded Skrill and Neteller deposits. Full Terms Apply. 18+ only. Please play responsibly. Begambleaware.Org. #AD
Millionaire

Millionaire

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Deposit £20 and get 50 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 50 Free Spins on Book of Dead on 1st deposit. New players only. Minimum deposit £20. Wager from real balance first. 50x wagering the bonus. Contribution varies per game, selected games only. Wager calculated on bonus bets only. Bonus is valid for 30 Days from receipt and free spins for 7 days from issue. Maximum conversion 3x bonus amount or from free spins £20. Excluded Skrill & Neteller deposits. Withdrawal requests void all active pending bonuses. Full Terms apply.
Winners Magic

Winners Magic

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100% Bonus Up To £150 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Exclusive Welcome offer 100% up to £150 and 50 Spins on Big Bass Bonanza. New players only. 18+ Min deposit £20. Maximum Bonus £150 and 50 Spins. Spins expire after 24 hours. Wagering requirements apply 35x. Promo code BONANZA100. Valid until 31.12.2024. Terms and conditions apply. BeGambleAware.org
Trada Casino

Trada Casino

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100% Bonus Up To £50 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Exclusive welcome offer 100% up to £50 and 50 Spins on Fire Joker Freeze. New UK players only. Code JOKER50 required. Valid until 31.12.25. Minimum deposit £20. Maximum Bonus £50 and 50 Spins. Any bonus awarded will be credited to your Bonus Balance and is subject to our bonus terms and 35x wagering requirements (bonus from deposit) before being withdrawn. Winnings from the spins and the deposit must be wagered 35x. Full terms apply.
PlayGrand Casino

PlayGrand Casino

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£100 + 30 Bonus Spins Welcome Package

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% up to £100 and 30 Reactoonz spins on 1st deposit. 18+. New players only. Minimum deposit £10. 100% up to £100 + 30 Bonus Spins on Reactoonz. Bonus funds + spin winnings are separate to cash funds and subject to 35x wagering requirement. Only bonus funds count towards wagering contribution. £5 bonus maximum bet. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days, spins within 10 days. Affordability checks apply. Terms Apply. BeGambleAware.org
Slots n Roll

Slots n Roll

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300% Bonus Up To £5,000 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 600% Bonus and 100 Free Spins over your 1st 2 deposits, starting with 300% Bonus and 50 Free Spins on Cash Bandits 3 on 1st deposit. Coupon code WELCOME1 required. Min deposit £25. Maximum Bonus £5000. Maximum winnings from Free Spins £50. WR Bonus 20x. WR Free Spins winnings 45x. Full terms apply.
Nevada 777

Nevada 777

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300% Bonus Up To £10,000 + 50 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 300% Bonus up to £10000 and 50 Free Spins on 1st deposit. PLUS Claim 300% and 50 Free Spins again on the 2nd deposit. Coupon code WELCOME1 required. Minimum deposit £25. Free spins valid on Cash Bandits 3. WR 20x deposit + bonus amount. Winnings from Free Spins will be subject to wagering of 45x. Full terms apply.

Welcome Bonus

100% Bonus Up To £50 + 20 Bonus Spins

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I wonder if you can guess from the name what kind of games Slotzo specializes in? Unsurprisingly, it's slots and a lot of them. They do however also offer casino and live casino gaming but primarily and as you'll see once you load the homepage the majority of what you...Read More

Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% up to £50 and 20 extra spins on Book of Dead on 1st deposit. 18+. New Players Only. Minimum deposit £20. UK players. Maximum wins from spins £100. 35x wagering applies, within 21 days. Spins available on specific games. Spins expire after 24 hours. Full T&Cs Apply.

Welcome Bonus

Deposit £10 and get £20 Bonus + 100 Bonus Spins

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To quote the people at Electric Spins, ‘experience the most thrilling slots’. As the name suggests slots is the focus here and although there aren't a massive number of games, just over 500. It's quality rather than quantity that you'll get on Electric Spins. If you click on slots at...Read More

Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 200% Welcome Bonus and 100 Extra Spins on Fluffy Favourites. First-time depositors only (18+ country restrictions apply). Minimum deposit: £10. Maximum offer: £20 Games Bonus & 100 Free Spins on a pre-selected game. Promo code: SPINIT. Any Games Bonus winnings, if applicable, must be wagered 60x before withdrawal. Any Free Spins winnings, if applicable, will be credited as bonus funds and capped at £10. Free Spins are valid for 7 days and any winnings must be wagered 40x before withdrawal. Games Bonus win cap: £100 + original bonus amount. Wagering contribution varies by game. Bonuses may be denied based on abusive bonus activity across sites operated by the Company. Deposit balance is available for withdrawal at any time (UK only). General withdrawal restrictions apply. Valid until further notice.
Turbonino

Turbonino

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Deposit £10 and get 100 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100 Free Spins on Thor and the Trials of Asgard. First Deposit Only. Minimum deposit: £10, Game: Thor and the Trials of Asgard, Spin Value: £0.10., Max Free Spins: 100. WR 60x free spin winnings amount (only Slots count) within 30 days. Maximum bet is 10% (min £0.10) of the free spin winnings amount or £5 (lowest amount applies). Spins must be used and/or Bonus must be claimed before using deposited funds. Deposit/Welcome Bonus can only be claimed once every 72 hours across all Casinos. Bonus Policy applies.
Slots n’ Play

Slots n’ Play

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50% Bonus Up To £50 + 40 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome package up to £100 and 200 Extra Spins. Welcome package split over 4 deposits. New players only. 18+. 50% up to £50 + 40 extra spins in Big Bass Bonanza on 1st deposit. Minimum deposit £20. 35x wagering applies. Maximum bet limitations per spin apply: £4. Terms and Conditions apply.

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100% Bonus Up To £100 + 100 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 100% bonus up to £100 and 100 bonus spins on Aloha Cluster Pays on 1st deposit. 18+. New players only. One bonus offer per player. Minimum deposit of £10. Maximum bonus bet £5. Bonus spins to be credited at a rate of 20 bonus spins per day over five days, triggered on your first deposit. Bonus spins winnings credited in the form of bonus funds and capped at £50. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days and bonus spins within 10 days, otherwise any unused shall be removed. Bonus funds are separate to Cash funds and are subject to 35x wagering on the value of the bonus funds and your cash deposit(s). Affordability checks apply. Terms apply. Play Responsibly.BeGambleAware.org.
MrQ

MrQ

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Deposit £10 and get 30 Bonus Spins

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  • ✂️ Enter Bonus Code BASSM30
  • ✅ Independent Casino
  • ✅ Pay By: PayPal + 3 more
  • ✅ Games From: Microgaming, NetEnt + 4 more
  • ✔ Bingo Games Available
  • ✔ Low Wagering
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125% Bonus Up To £100 + 100 Bonus Spins

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Terms & Conditions: Welcome offer 125% up to £100 and 100 bonus spins on Gonzo’s Quest and Starburst. 18+. New Players only. One bonus offer per player. Minimum deposit of £20. Maximum bonus bet £5. Bonus spins to be credited at a rate of 20 bonus spins per day over five days, triggered on your first deposit. Bonus spins winnings credited in the form of bonus funds and capped at £100. Bonus funds must be used within 30 days and bonus spins within 10 days, otherwise any unused shall be removed. Bonus funds are separate to Cash funds and are subject to 35x wagering on the bonus funds only. Affordability checks apply. Begambleaware.org

A bit of background info on NetEnt

When this site was launched, NetEnt was by far the leading provider of online slots for the European market and was also beginning to improve its coverage in the broader global market. No self-respecting online casino could afford to be without a large selection of the company’s games being included in its portfolio. The company already had several acclaimed classics to its name, such as the ever-popular Gonzo’s Quest and Spinata Grande, plus the stone wall classic Starburst. These were supplemented by dozens of other innovative titles, such as the colourful cartoon fables Hook’s Heroes, Jack and the Beanstalk and Robin Hood. At the same time, Finn and the Swirly Spin took a more modern approach to the traditional fairy tale.

Meanwhile, fans of the darker side could choose from titles such as Blood Suckers II, the officially licenced Aliens slot, or my personal favourite, the spooky Universal Monsters version of Dracula. Talking of officially licenced, the company had also carved an impressive selection of music-themed games, with authorised releases of slots by classic rock artists, including Guns ‘n’ Roses, Motorhead and the iconic Jimi Hendrix.

The hits kept coming, too, with further innovative designs like Asgardian Stones, Halloween Jack, Vikings and Wild Bazaar following in 2018. There was a semi-successful attempt to follow up earlier classics, too, with Berryburst adding a tangy citrus flavour to its super-successful predecessor, Starburst.

The following year saw several further superb releases to keep the company at the forefront of the industry. Finn returned once again with his Golden Tavern, and there were also sequels for previous hit releases Dead or Alive and Reel Rush. It wasn’t all about reboots, though, with some impressive new designs hitting the online virtual reels. Amongst an impressive total of more than twenty entirely new releases was the particularly successful horse racing themed Scudamore’s Super Stakes, and the zany yuletide caper Santa Vs Rudolf: a heart-warming tale of traditional Christmas spirit, it was not. The reputedly bat-eating Ozzy Osborne was added to the ever-growing roster of officially licenced classic rock-themed games.

This consistent record of market-leading releases led NetEnt to a position firmly at the pinnacle of the online casino software industry. Its position as the foremost gaming software provider was unassailable, and the company produced financial figures to match.

NetEnt’s Corporate Performance

NetEnt’s success in widespread and critical acclaim meant it could boast stunning financial performance figures far exceeding its rivals. Founded in 1998 in Sweden’s capital city, the company had developed from a tiny start-up to an industry-leading international organisation in barely two decades.

While the company headquarters remained in Stockholm, it opened satellite offices throughout Europe, including the United Kingdom, Poland, and Ukraine, plus two more in two of the foremost territories of the gaming industry: Gibraltar and Malta. Further afield, there were additional outposts in New Jersey, the United States, and Hyderabad in India. The company was responsible for the employment of well over a thousand employees located all across the world.

By 2019, the company had already developed over two hundred different games. Most of these were online slots, but there was also a good selection of more traditional table games, plus the company’s impressive live gaming operation.

This creative success meant the company was positioned to post impressive financial performance figures. The financial report for the year ending December 2019 showed total revenues exceeding SEK 1800 million (over £140 million) with total earnings before tax of around SEK 600 million (just under £48 million).

Although revenue growth over the previous year was unspectacular at 0.6%, this was broadly in line with sluggish growth in the gaming industry generally at the time. Indeed, NetEnt CEO Therese Hillman was very upbeat, pointing to the more buoyant 10% revenue increase over the year’s final three months. She was particularly confident about the company’s new live gaming operation, which showed firm growth signs, having broken records for player numbers that year.

2020 – The Turning Point For NetEnt

2020 was a turning point for all of us. The unprecedented pandemic completely transformed the world and was utterly unexpected, taking the whole planet by surprise. For NetEnt, the New Year brought a different kind of upheaval – one that, perhaps with the benefit of hindsight, was more predictable.

Growth was impressive during the first three quarters of 2020, aided by the gaming industry’s general solid performance while much of the European population was under lockdown. Being primarily confined to the home and with real-world casinos and other venues temporarily closed, the only natural alternative for gamblers was to move online.

As a result, NetEnt revenues were up more than 25% in the corresponding nine months of 2019, with earnings before tax up more than 40%. Income derived from the previous year’s acquisition of up-and-coming gaming software rival Red Tiger was now also coming on stream. Live casinos were also doing exceptionally well, perhaps buoyed by customers sitting at home craving the excitement of a real casino experience.

Arguably, this aspect of the company’s performance drew it to the attention of its previously unchallenged live-streaming rival, Evolution Gaming. Evolution was the dominant force in the live gaming market – their position in live casinos was even more pre-eminent than that of NetEnt in online slot design.

NetEnt’s live gaming operation’s spectacular performance was on a far smaller scale than Evolution’s, a massive worldwide operation. Nevertheless, its rapid increase in revenue represented a vast increase in market share, albeit from a very low base. This clear potential for NetEnt to become an emerging competitor to Evolution’s dominant market position was perhaps a primary motivating factor in Evolution’s decision to mount a takeover bid for the Swedish company in June 2020.

Although NetEnt’s board and shareholders swiftly accepted the well-judged offer, the takeover was not straightforward. The size and market share of the two companies within the online gaming industry triggered a merger enquiry by the UK Government’s Competition and Markets Authority (CMA). This was launched in September, with a provisional judgement in favour announced two months later. Only when the final decision to approve the takeover was published on December 8th was the acquisition finally able to be completed.

As a result, NetEnt became a wholly owned subsidiary of its new owners, with Evolution paying an initial SEK 19.6 billion (equivalent to around £1.6 billion, €2 billion or $2.3 billion). By December 12th, Evolution announced that it had acquired almost 97% of the company’s shares and had begun a compulsory buy-out process to purchase the remainder. NetEnt shares were, therefore, removed from the Stockholm stock exchange on December 16th. The company’s shares’ final trading price was SEK 86 (around £7, €8 or $10).

NetEnt under Evolution Ownership

Founded in 2006, Evolution is a far larger organisation than its new acquisition. Although it is headquartered in Sweden and listed on the Stockholm stock exchange, it is even more of an international operation, with around 8,000 employees based around live studios across Europe and North America. Its main studio is based in Riga in the Baltic state of Latvia. Still, it has many others in locations such as Belgium, Spain, Tbilisi in Georgia and on the Mediterranean island of Malta. It is also keen to exploit North America’s increasingly liberalised gaming market, with studios in New Jersey in the United States and British Columbia in Canada.

This wide distribution of locations enables the company to provide live-streamed casino games in over twenty languages. It also promises to offer native speakers in whatever language any potential online casino operator requires.

Evolution is a far larger operator in the live-streamed casino gaming market than relative newcomer NetEnt, and it is not difficult to see its takeover move as an attempt to snuff out a possible future competitor. Indeed, the acquisition quickly became controversial, making even mainstream national news headlines, as it immediately closed down NetEnt’s live gaming operations in Qormi in Malta and began a swingeing round of redundancy announcements.

Job losses were spread far and wide. In addition to Malta, NetEnt locations in Gibraltar and elsewhere were affected, with the entire operation in Krakow in Poland closed down. Even the company’s headquarters in Stockholm were affected, with hundreds of staff advised to stay at home and subsequently released. CEO Therese Hillman was among them – her departure was pre-announced, taking place at the end of the transition period in the spring of 2021.

Hundreds of NetEnt employees lost their jobs, some within minutes of the takeover becoming official. This resulted in considerable unwelcome media coverage and some firm union retaliation. The General Workers’ Union (GWU) in Malta took immediate legal action to stop the process on the island. This was partially successful, with around forty threatened jobs being saved when the matter was settled out of court.

It was particularly unfortunate timing for hundreds of employees to lose their jobs, particularly during a pandemic with fewer alternative opportunities. The financial world showed no such sympathy. On the contrary, these massive mergers tend to increase share value, with market sentiment usually supporting such moves.

So it was that Evolution was proud to announce starkly optimistic first-quarter financial results for 2021. Revenues more than doubled from the equivalent period in 2019 to more than €235 million, primarily due to the acquisition of NetEnt. Profits also more than doubled to €132 million.

Evolution CEO Jens von Bahr was particularly impressed by his company’s performance, commenting, “…we can already see good results from this work in the first quarter, and I believe that we are well set to continue to capitalise on the growing interest in online casino worldwide.” He was also impressed by the increase in Live Gaming revenues, which improved 60% on the same quarter in 2019.

The Future Of NetEnt Online Casinos

The demise of NetEnt’s live gaming operation is terrible news for more than just the hundreds of loyal employees who worked there. It’s not great for the millions of regular players of live-streamed casino games, either. Although most live casino gamers have always played games streamed from Evolution’s extensive network of studios, losing a quality competitor leaves Evolution with even more of a market monopoly than before. The competitive incentive to improve its service is no longer there. It’s little wonder that the company’s income and profitability are already rising.

The truth is that NetEnt’s reputation is built upon its online slot designs rather than its live gaming. Its millions of fans are more interested in the successive incarnations of Gonzo, Finn and NetEnt’s world-class game design operation than the fate of a redundant studio in Malta.  So the real question is, what effect will the advent of new owners Evolution’s stewardship have on the company’s slot output?

As ever with corporate takeovers, there are advantages and disadvantages for the acquired company, its customers, and players. On the plus side, the new owner’s increased financial power and market muscle offer potentially more extensive and diverse markets to move into. It can also lead to an injection of investment into the newly acquired company, the additional resources sometimes leading to an expansion and improvement in the quality and quantity of output.

This is good for a company’s customers, players and fans. It can also work in their favour when the acquired company is ‘left to do what it does best’, with little interference from its new owners. When companies retain autonomy and continue functioning independently, things can work well for customers and owners. The talents of the acquired company are, after all, what attracted the takeover bid from its new owners in the first place.

On the other hand, there are disadvantages too. It is too easy for a previously successful outfit to disappear into the black hole of its new owners’ corporate machine, micro-managed into submission. As a result, the acquired company can frequently become another forgotten brand within the newly merged organisation’s web of bureaucracy. The skills and originality which led to the success of a start-up brand or company can get lost when it becomes a mere division of a massive conglomerate.

This is a real risk in this particular case. Initial indications are not a good sign when a whole NetEnt division is summarily closed virtually overnight to suit its new Evolution overlords. The evidence could lead a neutral observer to suggest a worrying question – was Evolution’s intention with this takeover merely to close down a competitor threatening its core market?

NetEnt – The Way Forward

Given the events of December 2020, the omens don’t look too promising. Evolution’s controversial closure of NetEnt’s Maltese live-streaming studio and the announcement of further extensive redundancies caused a storm within the online gaming industry. These actions demonstrated an apparent commercial ruthlessness from its new owners.

However, the longer-term prospects for NetEnt’s core business – slots – look better. There are certainly grounds for optimism. While Evolution’s destruction of NetEnt’s live gaming operation seems based on protecting its business interests and market share, the amount of money involved in the acquisition suggests other motives are also in play.

€2 billion is a massive sum to pay to liquidate a troublesome competitor with a tiny market share. It would undoubtedly be a very expensive takeover if Evolution were to let its new acquisition’s talents wither on the vine. It is undoubtedly in the company’s interests to nurture NetEnt’s undisputed and unrivalled talent for producing great games.

Instead, it can be seen that the two company’s respective strengths are a good fit. The business-speak term is ‘synergy’: Evolution will continue to concentrate on its live gaming operation, while NetEnt will be able to focus on its core strength – its incomparable slot output.

This way, both companies can appreciate the takeover as a win/win situation. Evolution now has a strong foothold in a related gaming market in which they previously had no influence. At the same time, NetEnt can continue to do what they do best while enjoying additional financial security under the corporate umbrella of its new owners. Indeed, early indications suggest that NetEnt’s production schedule has been unaffected, with the usual prolific rate of releases continuing through the early months and years of their new corporate partnership.

The spring and summer of 2021 saw a consistent average rate of release of around two to three games per month, with some top titles such as Parthenon: Quest for Immortality and a new MegawaysTM version of the old NetEnt classic “Dazzle Me” hitting Netent casinos worldwide.

The Dazzle Me re-boot is particularly interesting because it is a fine example of the advantages of the merger with Evolution already bearing fruit. April 2021 saw Evolution splash the cash again, this time on the innovative Aussie gaming software outfit Big Time Gaming (BTG). This time, the value of the takeover was an initial €220 million, with the total outlay likely to amount to around €450 million.

The deal leaves Evolution as the ultimate owner of three of the most prestigious brands in slot software design: NetEnt, Red Tiger and now BTG. The specific advantage for NetEnt in this new deal is that BTG’s spectacularly successful Megaways TM mechanic is now effectively ‘in-house’. It is therefore available for all new releases and for upgrading the company’s legacy titles without the need to pay an additional licencing fee.

Another example of the benefits NetEnt’s new owners can bring to the table is the spectacular new version of the Gonzo franchise: Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt. This unique and innovative mash-up brings the familiar story of the fictional Spanish conquistador to life in a thrilling live gaming format.

Once again, the game is set in the Inca jungle, but with real live action, live game show hosts, random prize drops, and multipliers added to the action. The game takes place in a kind of ‘augmented reality’, with live presenters mingling with the animated “Gonzo”, much like you may have seen in blockbuster movies like “Avatar” and “Iron Man”.

NetEnt Casinos Summary

The good news is that despite the corporate turbulence of recent times, the future for NetEnt remains bright. Many fans of the company’s unique style will be disappointed if its distinctive Scandinavian flavour is diluted. Still, early indications suggest that the company is set to thrive under the stewardship of its new owners and market muscle.

At netent.net, we will keep a close eye on developments, but NetEnt’s position at the forefront of innovative slot design seems assured for the foreseeable future. Gonzo’s Treasure Hunt does take online gaming into another dimension and seems to signal the way forward for the new commercial partnership.

Along with the acquisition of MegawaysTM inventors BTG, it is a clear demonstration of the ‘synergies’ the new partnership with Evolution is already bringing to the NetEnt locker. Casino operators, fans and online casino players alike: all are surely looking forward to seeing what spectacular new games and formats the future will bring.