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SportingBet and 888 Likely Gambling Merger Targets
But US positions will have to be resolved first
In a speculative article this week the Reuters news agency considered the online gambling scene following the merger between giants Party Gaming and Bwin Interactive, commenting that 888 and Sportingbet are possible future takeover targets as the industry consolidates, but only once their legal liabilities in the US market are cleared.
The article points out that serious negotiations in the Party Gaming – Bwin merger were only concluded once Party Gaming had secured its $105 million settlement with US authorities.
“A resolution would clear the way for the [888 and Sportingbet] companies to re-enter the lucrative U.S. market should moves to overturn the 2006 legislation succeed, making them more attractive to buyers,” the piece notes, quoting various industry analysts.
Sportingbet would hold the most appeal to potential bidders, analysts said, pointing to its very strong market positioning in Australia and commenting that Ladbrokes and William Hill could be interested in a takeover, along with the Bwin-Party Gaming combination.
KBC Peel Hunt's Nick Batram told Reuters: "There are a lot of people out there who would like to buy Sportingbet. The value in that business is in its very strong market position in Australia. Bwin isn't in Australia to any degree, while Ladbrokes and William Hill are not sizeable in Australia.”
Liberum Capital analyst Richard Taylor highlighted the strength of Sportingbet's sports-betting business, which he said had one of the best gross margins in the sector at around 10 percent. In addition, he said Sportingbet's management was open to a bid, having previously stated up to 55 percent of their cost base could be removed.
Turning to 888, Batram told Reuters that 888's attraction would be the potential for cost savings in a tie-up with a rival online gaming operator, and he speculated that the combined Party/Bwin might be a possible buyer.
"If 888 is still on the market by the time that Bwin and Party do their stuff, it's an obvious one for them because they both use 888 as a supplier," he said, although he accepted that the founding Shaked family, who hold a controlling stake of over 50 percent, might prove unwilling to negotiate at the current price.
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Gambling News :
Amaya FY2016 Trading Update -
The Montreal-based Amaya online gambling group has issued a trading update covering FY 2016 and improving its forecast revenue and earnings numbers.
LeoVegas To Sponsor Leicester Tigers -
The agreement includes official partner accreditation, media space at Welford Road stadium and matchday tickets and VIP hospitality as well as two pitchside perimeter boards from the 2017/18 season and one for duration of the 2016/17 season.
Optima Information Services iShop -
Industry visitors to the recent TVC Bookmakers Trade Fair in Solihull, UK were much taken by Spanish betting technology firm Optima Information Services' iShop product, and the company went on to win the SBC Best Retail Betting Product award with it last month.
CAGAYAN CHIEF MOVES TO REASSURE LICENSEES -
Apparently $4 million is going into improvements of the Authority’s data centre in the Freeport at Cagayan, whilst another $3 million has been earmarked for an upgrade to data infrastructure located outside the Freeport.
New Massachusetts Online Gambling Bill -
It seems that every two years (give or take a few months) Massachusetts state Senator Bruce Tarr flights an online gambling legalization bill in the state Senate.
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