Caesars, Netherlands, BetMGM, & Rank: the week in numbers

Each week, CasinoBeats breaks down the numbers behind some of the industry’s most interesting stories. The past week saw financial updates begin to roll-in from a variety of global incumbents, Crown Resorts gain a further takeover proposal, and Caesars complete its long awaited William Hill transaction.

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Caesars Entertainment announced the delayed completion of its $4bn (£2.9bn) acquisition of William Hill, which was initially slated for finalisation at the turn of this month.

Furthermore, as previously disclosed, Caesars intends to sell the non-US businesses currently owned by the group, including the UK and international online divisions and retail betting shops.

It has been suggested that Caesars’ initial rival in securing a deal, Apollo Global Management, could be among those interested in securing all, or a portion of, those interests, with 888 and Betfred also among the names mentioned.

Caesars has praised the takeover of “one of the world’s leading betting and gambling companies,” which it says offers the ability to maximise the opportunity within sports betting and online gaming in the US.

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Kansspelautoriteit revealed that it has received 28 individual operator applications to join Dutch gambling’s new regulated online gambling marketplace.

Due to officially commence from October 1, 2021, the KSA made its announcement providing an update on its licensing window, which was launched on April 1. KSA chairman Rene Jansen emphasised his satisfaction with the provisional number of applications.

“The intention of the law is to channel players from illegal providers to legally reliable providers. With this number of applications, I am confident that there will soon be a sufficiently attractive and varied offer to achieve this objective,” Jansen’s statement read.

All applicants must guarantee that they have fulfilled all of the KOA Act’s pre-market technical requirements with regards to maintaining their customer databases and connecting their remote platforms with the ‘Cruks’ national self-exclusion database.

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Investment firm Oaktree threw its name into the ring as it enquires about the possibility of purchasing James Packer’s stake in Crown Resorts, providing an alternative avenue for the Australian casino operator as it looks to obtain its Sydney gaming licence.

Crown confirmed it had received a ‘non-binding and indicative’ proposal from Oaktree Investments to fund a buyback of shares owned by the billionaire’s private company Consolidated Press Holdings.

Commenting on G3Newswire, the company noted: “Crown Resorts Limited has received an unsolicited, preliminary, non-binding and indicative proposal from a company on behalf of funds managed and advised by Oaktree Capital Management, to provide a funding commitment of up to AU$3bn to Crown via a structured instrument with the proceeds to be used by Crown to buy-back some or all of the Crown shares which are held by Consolidated Press Holdings on a selective basis.”

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Betsson Perch Investments acquired 35 per cent of the shares in Strive Platform for a total amount of $6.5m, with an option to increase its shareholding by five per cent for $1m.

Continuing on from a prior announcement of a 50 per cent acquisition of JDP Tech, the subsidiary of Betsson will also grant to the company a convertible shareholder loan facility of $2.5m in the Strive Platform agreement.

“This investment is another important milestone in our US entry,” commented Pontus Lindwall, CEO of Betsson AB. “The investment will support our B2C launch with the Betsafe brand in Colorado as well as broaden Betsson’s offering to the US market.”

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The Rank Group is focused on welcoming patrons back to its range of venues, after ending the third quarter “broadly where we expected” and offering its latest trading update during which time its business was “inevitably” heavily impacted by the pandemic.

Delivering a liquidity and trading update for the quarter ending March 31, 2021, total net gaming revenue is reported to have dropped 72 per cent, with like-for-like NGR down 76 per cent.

The company says that its focus remains on continuing to grow its digital NGR, for which it expects to return to profitability during Q1 2021/22. For the reported period, digital NGR was down three per cent, with retail plummeting 98 per cent.

The quarter saw all UK venues closed for the entire period, while in Spain nine Enracha venues were open and operating by the end of Q3. Rank says that it experienced “strong customer demand, albeit under very strict capacity restrictions”.

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BetMGM expects to achieve $1bn of net revenue from operations next year, confirmed MGM Resorts International and Entain at the pair’s recent Investor Day.

Providing a business update on the joint venture, the two set out the key drivers of its strong momentum and future expectations as its strives to occupy a market leading position in the US.

Earlier in the year, Bill Hornbuckle, CEO and president of MGM, lauded the betting and gaming entity’s ‘significant market share’ gain during 2020, with January launches across Iowa, Michigan, and Virginia gaining particular praise. An expectation was also stressed of being live in 20 markets by the end of this year.

BetMGM is also lauded as the “market leader across the US in igaming” with a market share of 23 per cent over the three months to February 2021, and is said to be on course to take the number two spot in US sports betting and online gaming overall.

Amid the continued acceleration across North America, BetMGM expects the total addressable market in the US and Canada to be approximately $32bn, with long-term market share expected to be in the region of 20 per cent to 25 per cent across the former of those regions.

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Atlantic City’s Ocean Casino Resort has said that it is doubling down on its recent success by reinvesting $15m into the resort, team members, and surrounding North Beach community.

Following the introductions of The Cove high-limit slot experience and The Loft private luxury gaming suite, the property says that it will continue “to up the ante this summer” with several additions to the casino floor.

This will see the facility debut an all-new high-limit table games venue and Asian gaming space, as well as two new guest lounges for Ocean Rewards cardmembers. Also, new pathways will be installed throughout the casino so guests may easily navigate between games, including more than 250 new slot machines.

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