Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. At the start of a new week we reflect on more US purchases, a further slew of financial reports, and Chicago casino RFP extension.
DraftKings entered into a definitive agreement that will see the group acquire Golden Nugget Online Gaming in an all-stock transaction that has an implied equity value of approximately $1.56bn.
Following the purchase DraftKings said that it will leverage the Golden Nugget brand, igaming product experience and existing combined database of more than five million customers.
In connection with the acquisition, DraftKings also entered into a commercial agreement with Fertitta Entertainment, the parent company of the Houston Rockets, Golden Nugget, and Landry’s.
This will include marketing integrations, sponsorship assets with the Houston Rockets, an expanded retail sportsbook presence, and the optionality to obtain market access on favourable terms through certain Golden Nugget casinos.
DraftKings also became the exclusive daily fantasy sports, sports betting, and igaming partner of the NBA franchise, and intends to open a sportsbook at the Toyota Center, pending state legalisation and regulatory approvals.
Rush Street Interactive made a minority investment in game developer and tech provider Boom Entertainment, which will secure the group access in Louisiana, Mississippi, and New Mexico.
Furthermore, the two parties have entered into a “comprehensive commercial agreement,” which will integrate its remote gaming server and license online casino and sports betting games for RSI to make available to its real money and social casino players.
Boom will also develop certain custom games for which the group will gain exclusivity rights for at least a one year period.
Japan’s Nagasaki prefecture selected Casinos Austria as its operator partner for the potential development of an integrated resort at Huis Ten Bosch, Sasebo City.
Media outlets in the region reported that the group finished with 697 points under the region’s RFP scoring system, which positioned the firm ahead of Oshidori International Development in second with 682.8 points and Niki Chyau (Parkview) Group in third with 667.1 points.
However, the selection process followed Oshidori, which was partnered with Mohegan Gaming and Entertainment, withdrawing its participation from the request for proposals process for a Nagasaki IR.
The group, which was established to develop an integrated resort in Sasebo City, cited the imposition of “restrictive and unreasonable rules,” and said that it would be withdrawing unless changes were made to conduct the process in an ethical manner. However, the Nagasaki government stated that no official notice had been received.
Flutter Entertainment disclosed its intention to submit a petition to the US Supreme Court regarding its $100m PokerStars judgement, as the gambling group reflected on a first half of the year which “exceeded our expectations”.
Peter Jackson, the group’s chief executive, said that Flutter “made substantial progress against our operational and strategic objectives while maintaining excellent momentum in growing our player base”.
Pro forma total revenue for the six months ending june 30, 2021, increased 30 per cent to £3.05bn (2020: $2.38bn), with sports up 57 per cent to £1.89bn (2020: £1.19bn) and gaming narrowly down at £1.15bn (2020: £1.19bn).
The growth in sports is said to reflect an “excellent online performance in the UK & Ireland, Australia and the US”, with the group’s footprint in the latter extended to ten states versus four for the comparative period one year earlier. Sports revenue also benefited from a more normal calendar in 2021, as well as favourable results versus expectations.
The American Gaming Association’s ‘Commercial Gaming Revenue Tracker’ revealed that Q2 2021 revenue reached $13.6bn, surpassing the previous record of $11.1bn, set in Q3 2019 and matched in Q1 2021, by more than 22 percent.
Gaming revenue across the year’s second quarter grew almost 500 percent compared to the COVID-impacted Q2 2020, and was 26.3 percent higher than the same quarter of 2019. On a consecutive basis, it demonstrated a 22.6 percent uptick over Q1 2021.
Furthermore, after tracking almost $24.8m through the year thus far, the AGA updates that US commercial gaming revenue is close to overtaking 2020 full-year revenue of $30bn, and is on track to exceed 2019’s $43.6bn as the highest-grossing year ever.
However, the AGA noted that “gaming revenue still has some room to grow,” with a significant number of casinos across the country subjected to state reopening guidelines at the start of the quarter.
When the time frame began, 15 of 25 states, which are home to three-quarters (345 of 463) of US commercial casinos, had restricted capacity to 50 percent or lower, but all had fully reopened by the close of the quarter.
Chicago mayor Lori Lightfoot disclosed that the city had issued a two month extension to its request for proposal, which will provide the opportunity to apply for the region’s sole casino licence.
This has been done to offer potential bidders more time to fully assess the Chicago casino opportunity, conduct additional due diligence, assemble more competitive bid packages, and explore financing opportunities.
The holder of the Chicago owner’s license will be able to operate a temporary casino for up to 24 months (subject to a 12-month extension) and, thereafter, a permanent facility located in the city.
Furthermore, the operator that is selected will also gain the opportunity to operate slot machines at Chicago Midway International Airport and Chicago O’Hare International Airport.
Re-regulation in Germany continued to negatively affect performance in Q2, said LeoVegas, despite securing “high, double-digit growth in key markets” in a considerable number of its operational markets.
The online gambling group added that developments in Sweden continue to be encouraging, with record-high revenue secured during Q2, with “rapid growth” in a North American market which now accounts for ten per cent of consolidated revenue also praised.
For the second quarter of the year, LeoVegas reported revenue of €96.8m, a 13 per cent year-on-year drop from €110.7m, with adjusted EBITDA down 54 per cent from €10.6m (2020: €23m).
With Germany “negatively impacting figures,” LeoVegas updated that revenue increased three per cent when excluding the country “despite tough comparison figures from the start of the pandemic during the second quarter of 2020, and greater competition from other entertainment activities as societies are now opening up again.”