Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. A blockbuster potential transaction involving Evolution and Big Time Gaming led the way last week, in a period which also saw Bally’s and Gamesys agree terms on a business combination, Blackstone amend its Crown Resorts offer, and GambleAware laud its biggest year-on-year growth in donations.
Evolution cast its eyes on adding another significant member of the igaming establishment, with the company entering an agreement to purchase Big Time Gaming for a total consideration of up to €450m, payable in cash and shares.
This comes hot on the heels of its acquisition of NetEnt, which was finalised on December 1, 2020, with the gaming giant asserting that the move comes as it looks to further strengthen its position in becoming “the leading provider of digital casino games in the world”.
The total up-front consideration payable by Evolution in the transaction is €220m. In addition, Evolution will pay earn-out payments, based on BTGs EBITDA for the years 2022/23 and 2023/24, respectively. The earn-out payments will amount to a maximum of €230m, and become payable in 2023 and 2024, respectively.
The up-front consideration will be payable as €80m in cash and the remainder in newly issued Evolution shares. The cash part of the up-front consideration will be paid, and the share part will be issued at completion of the transaction.
Bally’s Corporation and online gaming operator Gamesys Group agreed on definitive terms by which the pair will undertake a business combination.
News of the potential move first broke last month, with the proposed $2bn transaction to see the US casino operator absorb Gamesys in a deal worth 1,850 pence per share.
Both parties’ board of directors assert that the combination “ has a compelling strategic and ﬁnancial rationale, would create long-term value for both companies and would be consistent with the companies’ respective long-term growth strategies”.
The combined group would be headquartered in Providence, Rhode Island, and its shares would retain their listing on the New York Stock Exchange. After completion, a request would be made to cancel trading in Gamesys shares and de-list from the London Stock Exchange.
It is added that Lee Fenton, Gamesys’ CEO, would occupy the same role in the combined group, with Robeson Reeves (Gamesys COO) and Jim Ryan (a non-executive director of Gamesys) to also join the US group’s board. George Papanier, Bally’s CEO, would remain a member of the board and a senior executive running the retail casino business.
Blackstone Group wrote to Crown Resorts setting out a modification to the regulatory approval conditions of its proposed buyout, within which it warns that that further license must not be lost.
Modifications to the condition have been made to state that :”Blackstone receive approval from each relevant regulatory authority to acquire 100 per cent of the issued shares in Crown as required under the applicable casino legislation, and framework agreements in each of their respective states”.
It has also laid out three further conditions that must not have occurred by the time of the second court hearing for the scheme meeting, the first of which says that neither of Crown’s licenses in Victoria or Western Australia is, or is threatened to be, cancelled, suspended or surrendered (or subject to a similar action) or ILGA confirms, or threatens to confirm, that Crown’s NSW licence is not to be granted (or subject to a similar action).
It also outlines that none of the gaming regulatory authorities must have imposed (or stating or indicating that they intend to impose) terms or conditions on Crown or any of its current or foreshadowed casino licences or framework agreements which, when combined, constitute a material adverse change.
Furthermore, no presiding member of any regulatory inquiry, commission or investigation in the aforementioned two states must recommend or indicate that it will recommend either of the above actions, or something comparable.
Oskar Mühlbach, CEO of Raketech, has assured that the group isn’t going to slow down, with accelerated efforts within mergers and acquisitions a distinct possibility during the period that lies ahead
In addition to acknowledging “a solid year” despite the disturbance, an increased digital demand saw the online affiliate and content marketing firm score four quarters of consecutive growth. Revenues amounted to €29.4m, representing a growth of 23 per cent.
Raketech says that its strategy to achieve its objectives and vision is supported by a number of operational goals, which it adds serve as guidance to ensure the group benefits from current macro trends as well as limiting risk exposure.
These include operating on at least three continents; ensuring that no single vertical exceeds 60 per cent of group revenue; boasting four to five global flagship assets; and aiming to have a wider product offering that is defined as four to six unique categories.
The previously confirmed acquisitions of Bet.pt in Portugal and Enlabs in the Baltics “underpin further progress” of strategic expansion into new regulated markets, says Entain in the group’s latest trading update.
Asserting excitement at returning to more normal trading across its whole business, following parts of its UK retail estate opening up once more this week, it adds that the prior period has been “another very successful and productive quarter”.
Total net gaming revenue for the gaming and betting firm dropped 13 per cent from the January 1 to March 31, 2021, time frame, with its gaming segment “continuing the momentum seen at the end of 2020”.
The company’s digital performance, which it says comes “in line with expectations,” is up 33 per cent, which marks the 21st consecutive quarter of double digit online NGR growth.
Entain’s gaming segment is up 23 per cent, as sports increased 47 per cent, with expansion said to be evident across all major markets, excluding Germany. Sports NGR continued to benefit from favourable margins.
GambleAware lauded its biggest year-on-year growth in donations, which the charity says is “largely as a result of the commitment by the ‘Big Four’”.
For the 12 months ending March 31, 2021, GambleAware has revealed that voluntary donations totalled £19.14m, a figure which equates to almost £9m more than the £10.5m figure received during the 2019/20 financial year.
This significant YoY rise, says GambleAware, is due, in part, to a commitment from Entain, William Hill, Flutter Entertainment and bet365 to donate £100m over the next five years.
The combined donations received this year by these companies was £15.4m, made up of £763,000 by bet365, Entain’s £4,315,250, a £9,324,000 input by Flutter, and £1.04m made in two donations by William Hill.