Online bingo firm Tombola has been scooped up in a £402 million takeover.

The firm, primarily located in Sunderland and Gibraltar, employs 700 people and has around 400,000 monthly players.

It is to join Flutter Entertainment, a London-listed Irish-headquartered FTSE 100 group created by the merger of Paddy Power and Betfair, in an all-cash deal.

Entrepreneur Phil Cronin will receive the full £402m.

“As the time comes for Phil to hand over the reins, I would like to thank him for building the success story that the business is today, and I look forward to welcoming the Tombola team to Flutter and growing a sustainable business for the future together,” said Flutter CEO Peter Jackson.

Tombola is described as providing low-stake bingo games to a highly engaged customer base. It was the first major UK-focused operator to introduce both mandatory staking and deposit limits, building a highly sustainable player base over the last 16 years. 

Flutter says the deal, which is conditional on merger control clearance by the UK Competition and Markets Authority and is expected to complete in Q1 2022, aligns with its safer gambling strategy.

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Tombola has boasted revenue growth of 23% over the last five years, with £164m turnover and EBITDA of £38.5m in its last financial year. 

“As the world’s leading online gambling operator, Flutter is delighted to add Tombola, the UK’s premier bingo brand to the group,” continued Jackson. 

“Tombola is a business we have long admired for its product expertise, highly recreational customer base and focus on sustainable play. The brand aligns closely with Flutter’s safer gambling strategy, a key area of focus for us. 

“I am excited to combine Flutter’s digital marketing expertise with Tombola’s operational capabilities within the UK & Ireland division.”