Tuesday, July 16, 2024

Acquisitions Continue to Consolidate The iGaming Industry

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mergers and acquisitions

According to ResearchAndMarkets.com’s “Online Gambling Market – Global Outlook & Forecast 2023-2028”, the global online gambling market is expected to reach $213.58 billion in value by 2028 from $105 billion in 2022, growing at a CAGR of 12.56%.

The market, at a global level, is quite fragmented, with fierce competition among local and international players. In this environment, the technological aspect is always a factor that can impact vendors given that customers always require upgrades and innovations in the online casinos and betting arena, enabled by Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. 

Additionally, the growth of betting on Esports, the Inclusion of Digital/Cryptocurrency as standard money and increasing number of Internet users, represent factors to take into account.

Although the legalization of online gambling and online casinos is a hot topic in the US today, Europe held the largest global market share of iGaming last year. It accounted for over 46% of the market share, with a growing number of online gambling websites in the region and the launch of mobile apps for iGaming activities across the industry. 

Activities are obtaining popularity in many European countries, with the UK, Italy, and Nordic leading expansion in the region given an increase in the per capita disposable income.

The Acquisitions

In this scenario, market consolidation and strategic acquisitions are continuing to play an important part in order to concentrate the industry. In July 2022, we had the largest deal in the UK after 888 Holdings PLC acquired William Hill International for $2.35 billion. 

The transaction brought together two large businesses to form an enhanced global betting and gaming entity with upgraded technology, products, and brands spanning sports betting and gaming.

In 2023, Entain CEE, one of the world’s largest sports betting, gaming and interactive entertainment groups, announced the purchase of STS Holding, a Polish sportsbook operator, for £750m. 

In January, the company completed the €450m acquisition of BetCity, a Dutch online sports betting operator. In June 2022, they had agreed to acquire BetEnt, in a deal reportedly worth €850m. 

In May, NeoGames S.A. (Nasdaq: NGMS), a technology-driven provider of end-to-end iLottery and iGaming solutions globally, announced it was to be acquired by Aristocrat Leisure Limited (ASX: ALL), an entertainment and content creation company delivering mobile and casino games, for a transaction representing an enterprise value of approximately $1.2 billion.

In April, Yahoo closed the acquisition of Wagr, a peer-to-peer sports betting app, in order to integrate it into its Sports division.

During 2023, Better Collective, the Copenhagen, Denmark-company listed on Nasdaq Stockholm (BETCO), whose portfolio includes Action Network, VegasInsider.com, HLTV.org, FUTBIN.com, and bettingexpert.com, acquired American sports media company Playmaker, for a total consideration of up to 54 mUSD.

In January, Better Collective announced the acquisition of a position of  5% in Catena Media, a publicly-listed media leader in the iGaming, sports betting, and esports industry, which, through a 360+ strong global workforce, helps brands build affiliation solutions.

The same company, which has offices in Malta, Sweden, Italy, Japan, and the UK, sold the sports betting brands Squawka and GG.co.uk. It also sold all its shares in the company’s fully owned Australian subsidiary, to Moneta Communications. 

Moneta is a UK-based sports betting affiliate company operating a network of specialist websites spanning Tennis, Horse Racing, Cricket, Golf, Football, Rugby and more. The deal is expected to close in Q3 2023.

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