Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. Transactions involving Playtech, Games Global and DraftKings; Canadian penalties; Dutch warnings and UK pleas all feature as well look back at a selection of headlines from the past week.
DraftKings disclosed the completion of its acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming, with the all-stock transaction, which was first detailed in August 2021, having an implied equity value of approximately $1.56bn.
It was noted that purchase does not include brick and mortar Golden Nugget casinos, which will continue to be owned by Fertitta Entertainment, however certain rebranding opportunities are to follow.
The pair expect this to occur at selected current and future retail sportsbook locations at the properties, which will become DraftKings branded sports betting entities.
This transaction, said DraftKings, will enable the group to leverage the Golden Nugget brand to broaden its reach into new customer segments and enhance the combined company’s igaming product offerings.
DraftKings will integrate GNOG employees across its business, including Thomas Winter, who will transition to General Manager of North America iGaming, from his previous role as President of the company.
Games Global unveiled its official operational launch after finalising the acquisition of Microgaming’s distribution business, game IP, progressive jackpot network and interest in a variety of game studios
Under the terms of the deal, the firm acquired the ownership of what is lauded as “an extensive back catalogue of exclusive gaming content,” and also attained a network of customers operating more than 900 global gaming brands.
Established in 2021, Games Global is a private capital backed company led by CEO Walter Bugno, formerly of IGT and Lottomatica and CFO Tim Mickley, previously of SafeCharge and Playtech.
The leadership team also includes Leila Goelz, Chief People and Transformation Officer; Theo Naicker, Chief Operating Officer; Kimberley Broad, Chief Compliance Officer; Andrew Booth, Chief Product Officer, and Julie Allison, Chief Revenue Officer.
A special committee of the Bally’s board of directors announced that it has dismissed a $2.07bn takeover offer by New York-based investment firm Standard General.
The company, whose founding partner is current Bally’s chair Soo Kim, offered to purchase all of the outstanding shares that it does not already own in February of this year.
The approach would’ve seen these shares gained for $38 each, which came in at $2.07bn and represented a premium of 30 per cent to the closing price as of January 24, 2022.
This came as the operator detailed its performance through the year’s first quarter, with revenue 64.93 per cent ahead year-on-year at $548.27m (2021: $192,26m).
The Dutch gambling regulator issued a further warning to online games providers within the country, stating that they are “still insufficiently complying” with financial obligations.
This came after the authority reported that it had conducted an investigation into compliance with the obligations that online gambling providers have under the Money Laundering and Terrorist Financing (Prevention) Act, as well as consulting data from the Dutch Financial Intelligence Unit.
As a result, the Ksa stated that the research shows that online gambling providers only see a reason to check if the origin of funds is compatible with the player’s income when deposits are much higher than €2,500 into a player’s account.
Furthermore, the regulator added that it will also undertake further investigations into two licence holders in response to the findings.
It is added that it “also appears that online gambling providers do not report all transactions,” such as those of €15,000 in 24 hours or other unusual transactions, to FIU-the Netherlands which “they are obliged to do so”.
The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario issued $78,000 in financial penalties to BetMGM and PointsBet for alleged advertising and inducement infractions.
The former was issued with a $48,000 penalty for a series of three tweets that the AGCO states failed to comply with standard 2.04, which is titled ‘marketing, including advertising and promotions, shall be truthful, shall not mislead players or misrepresent products’.
Furthermore, BetMGM was also found to have broken standard 2.05 for a tweet that stated “the more money you put in per bet, the higher your chance is of winning”.
This, in the Registrar’s Standards for Internet Gaming, says that ‘advertising and marketing materials that communicate gambling inducements, bonuses and credits are prohibited, except on an operator’s gaming site and through direct advertising and marketing, after receiving active player consent’.
PointsBet Canada was penalised $30,000 for a failure to comply with standard 2.05 after posters on GO trains as well as at two stations, which contained an inducement to play for free, were seen during April 4 and April 17, 2022.
The Betting and Gaming Council reiterated calls for ministers to take a “genuinely evidence-based approach” to the upcoming white paper on the 2005 Gambling Act review following recent UK Gambling Commission figures.
Data from the UKGC, which was released this week, revealed that the rates of problem gambling have fallen to 0.2 per cent in the year to March 2022, down from 0.4 per cent the year previous and a decline from 0.3 per cent in the last published annualised figures in February of this year.
In response to those results, BGC’s Chief Executive, Michael Dugher, has again called on the government not to “pander to the anti-gambling lobby”.
Playtech reported positive progress regarding a trio of key transactions as the gambling group reflected on what is lauded as an “excellent start to the current financial year”.
The “very strong performance” is said to have been driven by both the B2B and B2C business division, with adjusted EBITDA for 2022’s first quarter said to have come in at more than €100m (H1 2021: €124.1m). It is added that the positive run rate continued through April.
Elsewhere, “positive progress” was reported in the discussion with TTB Partners regarding a potential takeover bid for Playtech, following an initial approach earlier in the year that saw Mor Weizer, Chief Executive of Playtech, reveal his intentions to help the bid of the M&A suitor.
Furthermore, the company, alongside Caliente, is continuing to explore a possible transaction that would allow the pair’s Caliplay joint venture to enter the US market on an accelerated basis.
Finally, the disposal of Finalto remains on track to completion during the current quarter, with two of the four required regulatory clearances having been received.
LeoVegas said that it has begun the current year “in solid fashion,” after the group’s board of directors unanimously recommended a $607m MGM Resorts proposal to takeover the operator.
The firm, which has permitted the US group to carry out a due diligence review in connection with the offer, added that it has “taken a number of factors into account”.
These factors include, but are not limited to, the company’s present strategic and financial position and its expected potential future development as well as related opportunities and risks.
This came as the group reported a two per cent uptick in revenue through the year’s first quarter to €98.51m (2021: €96.72m), pushed along by a 44 per cent in sports that is aligned to the Expekt brand. Excluding the Netherlands, growth was nine per cent.