Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. In this latest edition we take a look at a acquisitions, attempted purchases, a football gambling review and new construction in Pennsylvania.
MGM Resorts International has asserted a belief that its proposed offer for Entain is “compelling,” after the latter asserted that an £8bn offer “significantly undervalues” the company.
Following press speculation which claimed MGM had had a US$10bn (£7.3bn) cash offer rejected, the US casino operator was asked to provide additional information in respect of the strategic rationale for a combination of the two companies.
In response to the request, MGM says that it “believes both its proposal and the strategic rationale for the combination are compelling and looks forward to engaging with Entain on this basis.”
In particular, the firm says that a combination of the two would deliver full control of the BetMGM business to leverage the rapidly growing US igaming and sports betting opportunity; as well as position the company as a global gaming firm across both online and retail.
Alan Pace, the new chairman of Premier League football club Burnley, has indicated to fans that he will be reviewing the club’s relationship with the gambling industry.
Pace, a dual British American national who boasts 20 years experience in the financial services industry, has informed fans that Burnley’s overall commercial strategy is to be looked at.
“It’s an issue I’m aware of and have my own personal views on, too. I can promise it will be reviewed as part of the overall commercial strategy for the club,” Pace indicated while communicating with supporters on social media.
When quizzed that the club’s social responsibility and profitability could go hand-in-hand, he added: “There may be some historic contractual obligations, but it’s an issue I’ll be reviewing with my team for the long-term.”
Burnley aligned with LoveBet in June 2019, in a deal which sees the igaming and sports betting operator’s branding appear on all of the Burnley FC adult home and away shirts for three years. This commenced in the 2019/20 Premier League season.
Pace spearheaded a recent £200m takeover of the Premier League side, a transaction which was officially completed on December 30, 2020.
Better Collective has increased its ownership stake in Mindway AI to 90 per cent, with the investment designed to support the group’s ambition ‘to make betting more safe’.
In September 2019, Better Collective paid four million Danish Krone (£470,898) for 19.99 per cent of total shares in the Denmark-based software company, which uses artificial intelligence and neuroscience for identifying, preventing and intervening in at-risk and problem gambling.
As of January 1, 2021, Better Collective exercised its option to acquire a further 70 per cent of the shares in Mindway AI for a total price of DKK 17m (£2.04m), following its initial preliminary investment.
Via the new investment, Better Collective now holds 90 per cent of the shares in Mindway AI, with the remaining 10 per cent held by Kim Mouridsen, founder of Mindway AI and professor at Aarhus University.
Bally’s Corporation has secured an agreement with Ira Lubert to jointly design, develop, construct and manage a category 4 licensed casino in Centre Country, Pennsylvania.
Philadelphia investor Lubert won the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s category four casino auction in September 2020, securing the triumph with a winning bid amount of $10,000,101.
This awarded the right to apply for a category four slot machine license for a casino to be located within a 15-mile radius of Unionville Borough, Centre County, Pennsylvania.
Construction is expected to begin in the first half of the year and will take approximately one year to complete, with the total cost of the project, including construction, licensing and sports betting/igaming operations, expected to be approximately $120m.
Subject to receipt of all applicable regulatory approvals, the facility will house up to 750 slot machines and 30 table games. The casino will also provide, subject to receipt of separate licenses and certificates, retail sports betting, online sports betting and online gaming.
Game Account Network has lauded the unity of two “best-in class” igaming offerings, after announcing the completion of its €149.1m ($175.9m) Coolbet acquisition.
Initially documented in November 2020, the purchase combines GAN’s B2B platform with Coolbet’s sportsbook engine, positioning the company as a full-service B2B solution for real money gaming in the US, and as a vertically integrated B2C player in selected international markets.
Expecting the transaction to be immediately accretive, integration of Coolbet’s proprietary sports betting technology began in earnest pending closing of the transaction, with it expected that the integrated offering will be available to the US market in no later than the third quarter.
Jan Svendsen, founder of Coolbet, is to continue running operations of Coolbet’s B2C igaming operations, which boast a footprint in Northern Europe, Canada, and Latin America in real money online casino and sports betting, as well as advise on trading services to US clients with technical integrations.
Pennsylvania casinos reopened their doors last week (Monday 4 January), following a mandatory three week suspension as governor Tom Wolf and secretary of health Dr Rachel Levine unveiled new COVID protective mitigation efforts last month.
With the Keystone State’s 13 land-based gaming establishments permitted to resume action, strict health and safety protocols remain in place across all properties, including a 50 per cent occupancy mandate.
Those establishments electing to reopen today are Harrah’s Philadelphia, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, Live! Casino Pittsburgh, Mohegan Sun Pocono, Mount Airy Casino Resort, Parx Casino, Rivers Casino Pittsburgh, The Meadows Racetrack & Casino, Valley Forge Casino Resort, and Wind Creek Bethlehem.
Rivers Casino Philadelphia will also return to action today, after previously being shuttered since November 20, after the city amended its own order that would have initially seen the property remain closed until mid-January.
Entain, via its wholly-owned subsidiary Bwin Holdings, has announced a recommended cash offer to the shareholders of Enlabs in a transaction which would value the group’s shares at SEK 40 each.
The independent bid committee of Enlabs has unanimously resolved to recommend the company’s shareholders to accept the offer, which would value the group at SEK 2.8bn, equivalent to approximately £250m.
Shareholders holding an aggregate around 42.2 per cent of the total number of Enlabs shares have undertaken to accept the offer, with an acceptance period expected to commence on or around January 21, 2021, and expire on or around February 18, 2021. Completion is conditional upon customary conditions.