Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. A slew of purchases on a global scale, a look into the future by the Malta Gaming Authority, New York casino updates from Las Vegas Sands and Caesars and a look into the ties between UK MPs and the industry are all featured in our latest headline recap.
Entain voiced optimism of realising the “significant opportunities” offered by the Dutch market after finalising the purchase of BetEnt, which trades as BetCity.
The initial consideration for the transaction is €300m (£266m), paid on completion, with a further contingent payment to be paid in early 2024 that will be based on 10x BetCity’s EBITDA for the current financial year.
Based on current expectations, Entain is anticipating the total payment to come in at €450m (£399m), however, depending on the performance of the online sports betting and igaming brand the maximum consideration is capped at €850m (approximately £753m).
Furthermore, a final contingent payment of €50m (£44m) will be paid on delivery of synergies and successful migration to the Entain platform.
Mansion Group signalled that a full exit of operations from the UK market had taken place, with the operator closing all casino operations in the region.
The company disclosed an intention to withdraw its casino brands, namely Casino.com, MansionCasino and SlotsHeaven, from the UK market. Mansion has exercised its right to surrender its UK operating licence with from Friday, 13th January 2023.
This follows the company’s decision to close its sportsbook in the UK from March of last year, in a move that was made in order to focus directly on its casino brands. This also brought an end to a collaboration with Bristol City FC, with Mansion also stepping down as the club’s principal partner.
Mansion noted that the primary reason behind this decision was refocus efforts on improving online casino offerings on other licensed markets, with Spain and Ontario cited.
The Malta Gaming Authority stressed confidence in the future of the Maltese gaming landscape, despite the economic slowdown and a number of uncertainties, in an interim performance report that covered January to June 2022.
This came as the regulator noted that the industry “sustained its contribution towards the growth of the economy” during the aforementioned period, with €573m in gross value added reported. This represented approximately eight per cent of the economy’s total GVA.
With indirect effects factored in, it is reported that this figure swells to around ten per cent, with the gaming industry estimated to have registered a 12.2 per cent growth in value added during H1 2022 when contrasted to the same period one year earlier.
Within the report, the MGA confidently declared that “the sector appears to have emerged in a stronger position” when faced with instability that the group said “posed a threat to the stability of Malta’s robust gaming industry”. The Ukraine-Russia war and Financial Action Task Force greylisting were both cited.
Ties between UK politicians and the gaming industry, both professional and otherwise, were revealed in a new ‘Westminister Accounts’ portal added to the Sky News website over the weekend.
Produced in collaboration with Tortoise Media, Sky News’ portal allows users to search through current MPs and find out what financial interests they have declared in a range of sectors since December 19, 2019.
These financial interests include ‘donations’, which Sky suggested are ‘often – but not always – cash’, earnings from other employment areas and ‘gifts and other benefits’ such as event tickets.
Kindred Group is taking immediate actions to improve profitability in the short and medium terms after the fourth quarter of the past year failed to live up to internal expectations.
Despite labelling its performance at demonstrating “solid year-on-year growth,” the “weaker than expected performance” was aligned to “a few one-off events”.
These include headwinds being encountered in Norway and Belgium, as well as a much publicised bumper payout of £5.3m to Mattress Mack in the US.
Actions being taken include restricting marketing spend in the US in a bid to reduce losses, re-prioritising investment projects to free up capacity for key strategic initiatives and lower short-term costs and optimising operating expenses to reduce cost growth and improve scalability.
IG Acquisition Corp disclosed that it is terminating a previously announced business combination with PlayUp, in what becomes the latest set-back for the Australian firm.
The former announced that it was pulling out of the deal in a Form 8-K filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, with the deal initially slated for completion during the current quarter.
The projected merger was first detailed in September 2021, in a transaction that valued PlayUp at $350m and would have seen the group list on the NASDAQ.
Las Vegas Sands officially declared its entry into the race to secure one of up to three downstate New York gaming licences via a multi-billion dollar project on Long Island.
As a result, the company declared that agreements had been entered into regarding a purchase of the long-term lease of the site currently home to the Nassau Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
These transactions, which still require certain approvals, would grant the company control of up to 80 acres in Nassau County, New York.
The development of what is billed as “a multi-billion-dollar flagship hospitality, entertainment and casino project,” would include a casino gaming area that would represent less than ten per cent of total footage.
Caesars’ push for a Times Square casino development in New York, which is being undertaken alongside SL Green and Roc Nation, gained the support of a local coalition.
The Coalition for a Better Times Square, a collective of local businesses and unions, threw its support behind the bid, which it has labelled as the “opportunity of a lifetime”.
Following a request for applications getting underway last week, the Coalition has cited an influx of closing Broadway shows, of which it is said there’s 16 that will impact 39 per cent of theatres, in emphasising the need for added investment to revitalise and rejuvenate the area.
Vici Properties finalised the purchase of the remaining 49.9 per cent of a joint venture that owns MGM Grand Las Vegas and Mandalay Bay Resort.
The pair of real estate investment trust’s detailed that the acquisition of Blackstone’s share of the JV was for $1.27bn and Vici’s assumption of the pro-rata share of the existing property-level debt.
This debt has a principal balance of $3bn, matures in 2032, and bears interest at a fixed rate of 3.558 per cent per annum through March 2030.
DoubleDown Interactive disclosed a share purchase agreement that will see the company acquire Malta-based operator group SuprNation for approximately $35m.
The igaming group is hailed as boasting a “strong presence in certain European markets,” with gaming licences possessed in jurisdictions such as the UK, Sweden, Malta and the Isle of Man.
DoubleDown expects to realise “significant synergy opportunities” upon completion by leveraging marketing, technology and gaming content, back office in-sourcing and potential native Apple/Android app development.
Lion Gaming Group lauded an acquisition that is “perfectly aligned to support our go-public initiatives” after announcing the finalised purchase of 1Click Games.
Through the transaction, the igaming tech provider has added more than 40 online casino brands to its portfolio, as well as further strengthening its talent pool.
“As Lion Gaming Group continues to explore the ways we can enhance our product offering, we’re very excited to add 1Click Games to our portfolio of companies,” said Duncan McIntyre, President & CEO of Lion Gaming Group.
The product line of 1Click Games, which was founded in 2014, comprises white label and turnkey online casino and sportsbook software, land-based casino solutions, lottery software and game aggregator solutions.