Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In our latest edition we look at a pair of divestments, MGM and Caesars targeting Japan, Saskatchewan’s online expansion, and Gamstop registrations.
Scientific Games detailed a definitive agreement alongside sports and entertainment group Endeavor, which will acquire the firm’s OpenBet sports betting business.
Under the terms of the agreement, the former will receive $1bn in cash and $200m in Endeavor class A common stock based on the volume-weighted average trading price for the twenty trading days ending on September 24, 2021, subject to customary purchase price adjustments.
The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2022, subject to applicable regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions.
The divestment was lauded as a “significant milestone” for Scientific Games, after the company previously spoke of an intention to “target investments towards the largest growth opportunities”.
The long mooted sale of Finalto, Playtech’s financial services division, could be coming to an end after the company entered into an agreement for its divestment with Gopher Investments for an enterprise value of $250m in cash.
Playtech said that this remains in line with a strategy to simplify the group and will bring a conclusion to “an extensive process,” as the firm looks to “focus on its technology led offering as a pure play business in the high growth B2B and B2C gambling markets”.
The transaction, unanimously supported by the Playtech board, is subject to shareholder approval, with completion, assuming a normal timetable for regulatory clearances, expected in H1 2022.
On top of the $250m payment, Gopher will be required to pay $24,000 each day after March 28, 2022 that the purchase is not finalised, with the agreement to be terminated by June 29, 2022 if all conditions are not met.
A 25 per cent increase in registrations during the first six months of 2021, compared to the past year, is a “key finding” of the first Gamstop bi-annual review.
The free national scheme for self-exclusion from online gambling noted that the review, of 3,300 registered users, was launched to give greater insight into trends on the group’s platform, as well as gambling behaviours across the UK.
The review, undertaken by research agency Sonnet, found that over 40,000 people were registered with the firm during H121, with March pinpointed as the second biggest month for registrations on record.
By the end of June 2021, the total number of registrants was more than 218,000, with the gender split coming out at 70 per cent male and 30 per cent female. Of those registered, 58 per cent opted for the maximum exclusion period of five years.
MGM Japan, together with its joint-venture partner Orix, was selected by Osaka as the region’s integrated resort partner.
Marking “an important step” in MGM‘s long-term bid to develop one of Japan’s first integrated resorts, details of the proposed approximately $10bn development were also been unveiled.
The proposal showcased a vision to bring a “world-class resort experience” to Osaka, with a view to transforming the region into one of the world’s top entertainment and hospitality destinations. Set to be located along the water on Osaka’s Yumeshima island, the project is designed to “help establish Japan as a top global tourist destination”.
Caesars Entertainment was named as the casino operator in Clairvest Neem Ventures’ Wakayama Marina City-based integrated resorts proposal.
The operator said that it had joined the consortium “in full compliance with Japanese law and with no capital commitment,” amid the pursuit of one of three licensed to be granted next year.
CNV earlier this year named Groupe Partouche and AMSE Resorts Japan as consortium partners for its proposal.
This came after the company, a subsidiary of Toronto-based private equity management firm Clairvest, was selected to proceed with the bid by Wakayama earlier in the month, after the only competitor, that of Suncity Group, withdrew.
The Japanese prefecture signed a basic agreement with CNV last month, becoming the first in the country to do so. It is said that the proposed investment would be US4.3bn (JPY470bn) versus the US2.6bn (JPY279.9bn) initially suggested.
Overall participation in online gambling for at-risk gamblers was more than double that of the general gambling population in 2018, according to a review carried out by Public Health England.
Commissioned by the Department of Health and Social Care, the PHE review acknowledged that overall participation in online gambling for at-risk gamblers (23.4 per cent) was more than double that of the general population of gamblers not under the “at-risk” banner (9.4 per cent).
It estimated that 0.5 per cent of the adult population have a problem with gambling, with 3.8 per cent at risk of problem gambling, while seven per cent are negatively affected by other people’s gambling.
Harmful gambling is said to have a different “activity profile” to general gambling, with PHE noting that online wagering – including slots, casino and bingo games, electronic gambling machines in bookmakers, sports and other event betting – has a high participation rate among harmful gambling. The National Lottery, however, is said to have a low rate of participation.
Canada’s gambling expansion is continuing to gather pace, with the government of Saskatchewan documenting a casino and sports betting agreement with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations.
The deal, which represents an amendment to the Gaming Framework Agreement, establishes a legal framework for a new online gaming site, which will be run by the Saskatchewan Indian Gaming Authority.
The amendment to the GFA also establishes a revenue-sharing arrangement between the two parties, marking a 50/50 revenue split between FSIN and the province.
SIGA has inked a letter of intent with the Saskatchewan Gaming Corporation, which establishes the general terms of the former operating and the latter managing the online site, which will feature online casino games and sports betting and is anticipated to launch in 2022.
The Kindred Group confirmed that it has immediately ceased services towards Dutch citizens on a temporary basis, following previous suggestions that it would not block consumers within the country from accessing its products.
However, the online gambling group reaffirms its stance that a letter issued by Minister Sander Dekker “does not explicitly request operators to cease services towards Dutch citizens as long as the prioritisation criteria published in 2019 are followed”.
The company previously underlined that it had been compliant with all cooling-off provisions, including hosting no .nl or Dutch language websites as well ceasing all local marketing and its Dutch payment capacities during its evaluation period, noting that “we are not actively targeting Dutch customers”.