The increasing popularity of online gambling is attributed to several factors, such as advancements in the field of digital marketing, wider availability of modern technology as well as easy-to-use systems. In recent years, the global online gaming market expanded to represent one of the fastest growing segments of the gambling industry. Despite legal restrictions, regionally and country wise, in 2018 the market already produced more than USD 48.9 Billion in worldwide revenue and is projected to expand past USD 134.5 Billion by 2027, according to data provided by Transparency Market Research. Relaxation of laws and regulation across the globe for online gambling is anticipated to further drive the market further. And from the various segments associated with online gambling, it is the sports betting segment that is expected to expand at a substantial pace. FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (CSE: FANS), Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS), Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD), International Game Technology PLC (NYSE: IGT), Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN)
The most significant boost to the sports betting segment is attributed to the usage of smartphones, which allow bettors to bet at anytime and anywhere. In addition, innovative technologies such as Blockchain, Internet of Things (IoT) and VR are changing the intricacies in many fields including gambling in an online casino. Blockchain, for example, helps the market address some major concerns regarding online gambling. A lot of online casinos and online gambling sites have been accused of not being transparent, hiding details on internal mechanisms and the methods for their dealings. With blockchain technology, everyone will be able to see exactly what is going on behind the scenes. Blockchain can potentially help in preventing fraud and greatly increasing the trust people having in online gambling services.
FansUnite Entertainment Inc. (CSE: FANS) announced last week, “the acquisition of McBookie Ltd., a leading provider of regulated betting services in the United Kingdom. The recent acquisition of McBookie provides a strong foundation for the future of FansUnite as the Company continues to look to consolidate assets in leading regulated gaming jurisdictions such as the U.K.
McBookie has been operating in the UK market since 2009 and provides its customers with sports betting, casino and virtual sports offerings. Currently, the company highlights approximately 10,000 active members and has handled a total of $340M CAD in betting since inception. In the last three years alone, McBookie has taken over $135M CAD in betting volume onto their platform. In the current climate, the casino and virtual offerings have continued to grow as new players are signing up to the McBookie platform to take advantage of online offerings.
“We have always believed in the huge potential of the McBookie brand and our most recent investment will allow us to provide this asset with the necessary resources to become a leader in the UK market,” said Darius Eghdami, Chairman and CEO of FansUnite Entertainment ‘Remarkably, McBookie has been able to build their brand and customer base through mostly organic channels. Paul Petrie and Damian Walker are excellent operators and with our team, we will now be able to assist them in continuing to grow their membership base and increasing their betting volume.’
‘These are exciting times ahead and we look forward to working with the FansUnite team to continue to grow the McBookie platform throughout the UK,’ said Paul Petrie, founder and Director of McBookie.
‘With little or no sport for customers to bet on since the middle of March, we have been extremely encouraged by the strong performance of the casino and virtuals,’ continued Damian Walker, founder and Director of McBookie, ‘With leagues such as the German Bundesliga already returning this past weekend, we would expect these numbers to continue to grow once customers return to the site as sports continue to come back.’
The net revenue for gambling in Great Britain increased from roughly 8.4 billion British pounds in 2011 to approximately 14.4 billion British pounds in 2018.
Terms of the acquisition – Total consideration for the acquisition of McBookie was $2.2M CAD. This included approximately $500k in cash on the closing of the acquisition, a $500k (£300k) note payable, due within 12 months of the close and $1.2M in shares at $0.35 (3,497,143 common shares). McBookie had no long term debt at the time of the acquisition.”
Scientific Games Corporation (NASDAQ: SGMS) announced earlier in March that it had partnered with Vaix.ai to offer sports bettors personalized recommendations and tailored betting choices through the OpenMarket™ branch of the OpenSports™ product suite. Vaix.ai will offer an Artificial Intelligence (AI) model through OpenSports that enhances the sports betting experience. By providing sports, league, team, event, and market recommendations to bettors in real-time, the companies aim to further personalize sports betting through Scientific Games’ OpenMarket solution. OpenMarket is the industry’s first one-stop content marketplace, giving Scientific Games’ partners access to top-tier sports betting intelligence, data feeds and tools without the need for complex integrations and financial agreements.
Boyd Gaming Corporation (NYSE: BYD) and FanDuel Group recently announced the debut of FanDuel Sportsbooks at four Boyd Gaming properties: Blue Chip Casino Hotel and Spa in Michigan City, Indiana; Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa; Diamond Jo Casino in Northwood, Iowa; and Belterra Casino Resort in Florence, Indiana. “Together, Boyd Gaming and FanDuel Group continue to successfully capitalize on the historic opportunity afforded by the legalization and expansion of sports betting in new states across the country,” said Keith Smith, President and Chief Executive Officer of Boyd Gaming. “The FanDuel Sportsbook is off to a great start in Pennsylvania, contributing to solid growth in visitation and profitability at our Valley Forge Casino Resort near Philadelphia. We are confident our partners at FanDuel will deliver excellent results in Iowa and Indiana as well, further expanding Boyd Gaming’s customer base and enhancing our long-term competitive appeal.”
International Game Technology PLC (NYSE: IGT) announced earlier this month that its PlaySports platform will power retail and mobile sports betting at Wild Card Saloon and Sasquatch Casino in Black Hawk, Colo. Owned and operated by privately held gaming company, Ed & Shirley’s Inc., both casinos will leverage IGT PlaySports kiosks, platform and mobile technologies to give their patrons choice and convenience for how, when and where they place sports bets. “Offering omni-channel sports betting via the IGT PlaySports solution will introduce an exciting new dimension of gaming to Wild Card Saloon and Sasquatch Casino that sports fans throughout Colorado are ready to embrace,” said Ed Smith, Ed & Shirley’s Inc. President. “We’ve leveraged IGT’s expertise and trusted technology to create a sports betting program that gives players choice and convenience for wagering on their favorite teams.”
Penn National Gaming, Inc. (NASDAQ: PENN) announced back in February that it had completed its previously announced acquisition of a 36% interest in Barstool Sports, Inc. for total consideration of approximately USD 163 Million, comprised of approximately USD 135 Million in cash and USD 28 Million in non-voting convertible preferred stock. Pursuant to the transaction terms, Penn National is now Barstool Sports’ exclusive gaming partner and has the sole right to utilize the Barstool Sports brand for all of its online and retail sports betting and iCasino products. Penn National will increase its ownership in Barstool Sports to approximately 50% after three years (or earlier, at Penn National’s election) with an incremental investment of approximately USD 62 Million, consistent with the implied valuation at the time of the initial purchase, and has a path to establish control and full ownership of Barstool Sports.