Was Playtech prepared to jettison B2B?
Playtech/888 bid rumor, Fanatics in Connecticut, UK stats, startup focus – BettorOff +More
A rumored bid for 888 suggests Playtech contemplated a strategic shift.
Fanatics takes over from Rush Street in Connecticut.
UKGC stats show online resilience in the face of uncertainties.
AI-assisted mobile technology platform BettorOff is the startup focus.
Failed 888 bid suggests a Playtech B2B/B2C split was on the cards.
B2B hive: Playtech was prepared to hive off its B2B operations and bolster its B2C operation via a £700m bid for 888, according to a report in the The Sunday Times. The summer bid was ultimately rejected as undervaluing the operator behind the 888 and William Hill brands.
The news follows on from a separate report in early November suggesting DraftKings was in talks with the FS Gaming consortium over involvement in its ultimately failed efforts to get Kenny Alexander installed as 888’s CEO.
The newspaper said Playtech made a written approach at a price of 156p a share. The shares closed on Friday at just over 70p after having dropped from their September high of 128p.
The slide meant that last week 888 lost its place in the FTSE 250 index.
🛒 Bargain basement: 888 is revisiting its spring lows
Deal talk instant
Feeling the heat: The report quoted an insider as suggesting Playtech was ready to “hive off” its B2B operation while merging its consumer-facing Snai business in Italy, and sources suggested that such a proposal would be “very credible” and accretive for Playtech shareholders given the company is trading at a discount to its sum of the parts.
But a blocker on any immediate deal would be the ongoing legal dispute with major strategic partner Caliente in Mexico.
“That needs to be resolved given the amount of cash flow at risk if Caliente pulled out,” one source suggested.
“There is a win-win solution here,” one source added. “Perhaps this news can be a catalyst.”
Sportsbooks! Checkout some of Matchbook’s latest quotes across NFL, NCAAF, MLB & NBA:
NFL: NY Giants/LV Raiders O37.5; $107k @1.95
NCAAF: Marshall +3.5 (vs Appalachian State); $34k @ 1.83
MLB: ARI Diamondbacks ML (vs TEX Rangers); $36k @ 1.99
NBA: NO Hornets +12.5 (vs DAL Mavericks); $170k @ 1.90
Matchbook pricing and brokerage service is your connection to the sharpest pricing and global liquidity, helping you to manage risk and fortify your margins.
Stop being forced to limit customer stakes due to market liability.
Stop being caught out by stale prices and one sided markets.
Matchbook B2B, because the best price is for everyone.
Fanatics has been selected by the Connecticut Lottery as its new sports-betting partner, replacing Rush Street, which opted to bring an end to its deal in March this year. The partnership will launch in mid-December in 10 retail locations as well as online.
Lottery president Greg Smith said his team were impressed by Fanatics’ “aggressive entry” into the US sports-betting market.
Fanatics will be going up against DraftKings and FanDuel, which operate in the state in partnership with, respectively, the Mashantucket Pequot Tribe and Mohegan Sun.
Recall, in exiting the deal, Rush Street CEO Richard Schwartz said at the time the partnership was “not the right fit”.
Opening of a fridge: The Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood Florida will host celebrities and influencers on the red carpet for the debut of craps, roulette and retail sports betting on Dec. 7.
By the numbers
The ESPN Bet app has been downloaded 1.7m times in its first 16 days of operation, grabbing a 65% share of downloads, followed by FanDuel (14%) and DraftKings (11%). The team at Jefferies noted the daily download total in the last three days was down to 35k from 200k in its initial launch period.
The week ahead
BetMGM will be hosting a business update later today, including presentations from CEO Adam Greenblatt and CFO Gary Deutsch, plus an analyst Q&A.
Also this week, the details of Entain’s settlement with HMRC over the deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) in relation to the Bribery Act charges and its previous activities in Turkey are set to be made public.
Norsk Tipping has appointed Tonje Sagstuen as managing director. The long-time Norsk executive has served as acting CEO since September.
Tabcorp has named Mark Howell as CFO. Howell, who joins from Coles, will transition into the role by Jun24.
Sönke Martens has stepped down as CCO of Zeal Network, but will remain with the German online lottery products provider until February to assist with transition.
Sean Hurley has joined Catena Media‘s board as a non-executive director, replacing Per Widerström, who left for 888 in August.
UK by the numbers
Toughing it out: The latest figures from the UK Gambling Commission for the year to March 2023 show the online sector was resilient even in the face of the uncertainties caused by the tougher regulatory backdrop and the then-upcoming White Paper.
GGY for remote casino, betting and bingo came in at £6.5bn, up 2.8% on the previous 12 months. It also represented a 13.3% increase on the pre-pandemic year to March 2020.
Not the script: The team at Regulus pointed out this overall rise goes against what has been said by some of the major operators about the overall market. Indeed, the data suggested the belief on the part of market observers that regulatory changes, self-imposed social responsibility changes and the cost-of-living crisis were affecting the overall market was “not correct”.
Instead, comparing the UKGC stats to the figures from the largest licensees shows the market share of the top operators has fallen by 8.7 ppts from Q122 to Q123 to 86%.
Their gaming market share has fallen 7.2 ppts to 58%
“As we suspected, the larger operators are losing significant share, they are not suffering from a falling market,” the analysts added.
Total gambling revenue rose 6.8% to £15.1bn, while revenue excluding the lottery was up 9.3% to £10.9bn. Land-based gaming rose nearly 21% to £4.5bn as it continued its post-pandemic revival.
But, notably, the number of betting shops fell 3.9% to 5,995 and 22% or nearly 1,400 shops down on the pre-pandemic number.
Within the shops, machines fared well, up 16% to £1.2bn.
Las Vegas Sands and Texas: The investment in the Dallas Mavericks on the part of Miriam Adelson and her family strengthens the position of Las Vegas Sands in Texas, according to Jefferies. Last week, Adelson sold $2bn of shares to fund the purchase of a majority share in the NBA franchise.
If gaming legislation were to be approved in Texas, LVS would like to develop a new arena and casino resort in partnership with current Mavericks’ owner Mark Cuban, said the team.
“Texas became more positively disposed to legalization in 2023 than past years, which suggests a reasonable prospect for success,” they added.
Venture capital firm Yolo Investments manages in excess of €500m in capital across 100 exciting fintech, gaming and blockchain companies. The Yolo Investments' Gaming fund, regulated by the Guernsey Financial Services Commission, has taken positions in fast-growth suppliers and operators, including Dabble and Enteractive. Yolo Investments (yolo.io) wants to hear from readers of this newsletter. Get in touch with your pitch, or for a chat about innovative products which can plug into our investment ecosystem.
Startup focus – BettorOff
You Bettor, you bet: BettorOff is a mobile technology platform that combines generative AI, natural language processing (NLP) and large language model (LLM) technologies with robust data and crowdsourcing “to build, foster and grow the world’s most verifiable, trustworthy and expansive wagering information community”, says Alex Dubin, co-founder and CEO.
Formed in July 2020 and based in NYC, its management team comprises four co-founders, including Dubin, CTO Ryan Fisch, CMO Bryan Blend and director of product Harrison D’Agostino.
Former FanDuel and Flutter US CEO Kip Levin has recently joined the company’s advisory board.
Money talk: The company is in the middle of a $2.5m funding round, of which $1.5m has already been secured. The previous funding round closed around 10 months ago, raising $1.1m from angels, private investors and family offices.
Take your pick: “The opportunity that led us to build BettorOff was simply to address the glaring inequity within the sports-wagering information community caused by a lack of transparency and accountability by those selling picks,” explains Dubin.
“The fact that self-proclaimed ‘experts’ can sell picks without any verified record of their pick histories, ROI or other relevant data, puts their customers at a severe disadvantage.”
On X, cappers selling picks “can delete bad picks or even edit old tweets”, he adds. BettorOff eliminates this possibility “by storing all picks made on our platform on the blockchain, making them permanent and immutable”.
“We then allow free access to all professional pickers’ histories and stats so that our community of users can make informed decisions based on data before spending any of their hard-earned money to access anyone’s picks.”
The reaction to the model has been “overwhelmingly” positive, says Dubin. “The necessity of bringing transparency to online sports-betting pick sales as well as providing a place for the betting community to virtually gather is unquestioned.”
It’s good to chatbot: In the medium-term, the company plans to launch the BettorOff AI chatbot interface, which will “allow our community to query our database for everything from arbitrage opportunities to high payout parlay bets”.
Long-term, BetterOff wants to establish itself as “the go-to community platform for all things sports wagering – from social media, stats and pick selling to original content and AI being tips”.
Growth company news
Sports-betting marketing and technology platform BettorView will provide its plug-and-play solution to NorthStar Gaming.
Betting exchange Novig has partnered with Intelitics to help drive user acquisition in Colorado.
ALT Sports Data is to be the sole distributor of sport-betting data for MotoAmerica’s race events, including the AMA Superbike Championship.
Former NBA champion Metta World Peace has made an undisclosed strategic investment in social parimutuel betting system Sparket through his Artest Management Group.
BettingJobs is the global leading recruitment solution provider for the iGaming, Sports Betting, and Lottery sectors. Backed by a 20-year track record of successfully supporting the iGaming industry, it's no surprise BettingJobs is experiencing rapid growth and outstanding results. Does your company plan to expand its teams to cope with strong demand and growth?
Contact BettingJobs today where their dedicated team members will help you find exactly what you are looking for.
Dec 4: BetMGM business update, Craig-Hallum Online Gaming Conference
Dec 5: Allwyn
An +More Media publication.
For sponsorship inquiries email email@example.com.