iGaming News Round Up: Mergers, Twin River Plans to Acquire Three Casinos

To wrap the weekend up, we take a look at the most important events in the casino industry the Week April 20 – April 24. A pivotal merger between Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp., DraftKings and SBTech has been concluded and Twin River announced plans to acquire three of Caesars and Eldorado’s casino. For more of this, read our weekly recap below.

DEAC Seals the Deal, Shareholders OK DraftKings, SBTech Merger

Following several months of negotiations and pending regulatory approval, Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp. has finally held a meeting on Thursday, April 23 with the special acquisition company’s shareholders OK the deal and merger between sportsbook DraftKings and gambling solutions provider SBTech.

As per the merger, the emerging company is known as DraftKings Inc. and will trade on NASDAQ under the ticker name DKNG. The result company is a new global behemoth which DEAC expects to hit EBITDA worth at least $2 billion, even though the current results are negative.

SBTech, the company merged with the rest will have to earmark $30 million to cover potential issues stemming from a recent security breach that forced a number of renown sportsbooks in the United States to stop operating.

Twin River to Snap up Three Eldorado and Caesars’ Properties

Twin River Worldwide has signed separate agreements with Eldorado Resorts and Caesars Entertainment to acquire properties from the brands. Eldorado is selling properties in Louisiana and Nevada and Caesars is giving up on its Bally’s Atlantic City property.

 As per the agreement, Eldorado will relent control of Eldorado Shreveport Resort and Casino in Louisiana and the Mont Bleu Casino Resort & Spa in Lake Tahoe, Nevada. The net worth of the deal is estimated at $155 million.

Previously, Maverick Gaming had sought to acquire both properties, but the deal was cancelled as Eldorado sought a better opportunity with Twin River. With the deals looking as good as in the bank, there are still a few details to be ironed out.

They pertain to the pending Eldorado/Caesars Entertainment acquisition as well as approval from the Federal Trade Commission. Given the current climate, the deals should have been successfully sealed by some point in the first quarter of 2021.

Virginia Hose and Senate Support Gubernatorial Amendments to Sports Betting Bill

The week was important for the state of Virginia which is also set to welcome sports betting now that the last of Governor Ralph Northam’s amendments have been passed successfully.

The House and Senate voted on two bills, agreeing to amendments and moving forward with a plan to introduce projects that would helpfully resuscitate the state’s economy. The most important project planned with the help of local businessmen and Hard Rock will cover Bristol. Bristol will share gambling tax revenue with 12 counties but a referendum would need to be held before an official go ahead for sports betting is finalize.  

Oklahoma’s Attorney General Not Entirely Sure for Tribal Compacts Legality

After Governor Kevin Stitt approved two new gambling compacts, Oklahoma’s Attorney General brought up the issue and whether the governor had the power to issue such approvals.

Earlier in the week, Governor Stitt said he had approved two new tribal compacts, ending a short but intense feud between the state, and specifically the governor, and Oklahoma’s tribes and permitting them to run Class III gaming, including sports betting, throughout their casinos in the state.

However, according to AG Mike Hunter, this may not be completely within the governor’s remit. He further elaborated that only gaming activities could be allowed under the compacts, and issuing approval for sports betting was directly against the grain of where Stitt’s legally-vested power ended.

The Oklahoma Indian Gaming Association (OIGA) also protested against Stitt’s decision, explaining that the Governor’s attempt to set-up and authorize new forms of gaming without observing due process was not the law.

The New Hampshire Lottery Says OK to Virtual NASCAR Betting

With casinos shut down completely across the United States, some sportsbooks are still look for alternatives. The New Hampshire Lottery has given the go-ahead to bookmakers to include eNASCAR bets, one of the most successful and most-watched electronic sports competitions to be based on real-life motorsports.

The event has been drawing a steady viewership, fetching 1.3 million for the simulated iRacing Series run in partnership with Coca-Cola. ESPN has been gradually pushing up its coverage of electronic sports and Nevada, another state hit by the casino shutdown, has decided to keep adding new esports events people can bet on.

Flutter Shareholders Agree to TSG Merger

One of the biggest news of the week was the fact that Flutter Entertainment shareholders approved the company’s merger with The Stars Group, now set to form one of the largest online gambling companies in the world.

In fact, with brands such as PokerStars and Paddy Power Betfair the resulting entity will be without a doubt the largest operator on the market. Shareholders voted with a supermajority with 99.2% falling behind the deal and 0.80% pushing back against it.

In light of these results, TSG and Flutter will proceed with the merger which was announced back in October 2019, hoping to achieve a global annual revenue worth $4.7 billion and giving the company more resilience against outside forces including COVID-19.