MGM Backs Off Acquisition Of British Gaming Platform Entain


MGM Resorts International said it’s pulling the plug on its bid to acquire the gaming platform Entain, which is its BetMGM partner. After Entain rejected the company’s all-stock proposal, MGM announced that it won’t be making another offer.

“BetMGM, our U.S. sports betting and online gaming venture with Entain, remains a key priority for the Company as we continue to leverage our preeminent physical gaming, entertainment and hospitality platform to expand digitally,” Bill Hornbuckle, CEO of MGM Resorts International, said in a press release on Tuesday (Jan. 19). “We believe that BetMGM has established itself as a top-three leader in its markets, and we remain committed to working with Entain to ensure its strong momentum continues as it expects to be operational in 20 states by the end of 2021.”

He added that the Las Vegas-based casino operator is committed to its mission of offering a global, omnichannel gaming and entertainment firm, and that it is investigating “a range of compelling strategic opportunities.”

Previously called GVC Holdings, Entain said the all-stock deal undervalued the company, The Wall Street Journal reported. MGM offered 0.6 of its shares for each Entain share, worth £8.09 billion ($10.99 billion), according to the report.

If the acquisition had gone through, the new entity would have been one of the few gambling platforms to have a significant presence both physically and digitally.

Entain is acquiring Swedish gambling firm Enlabs AB for around 2.80 billion Swedish kronor ($333.5 million), the WSJ said. Entain — home to the bwin, PartyPoker and Coral brands — said its CEO Shay Segev is leaving the company to share the CEO position at sports-streaming platform DAZN.

Caesars Entertainment recently signed off on a $4 billion deal to buy British sports gambling company, William Hill PLC.

Online gambling accelerated during the pandemic, but was already gathering momentum after the U.S. Supreme Court passed a decision in 2018 green-lighting sports betting. The decision formed the foundation of the 2019 laws overseeing the industry in 10 states.

Share prices of online sports betting firms DraftKings and Penn Gaming have escalated over the past year. IAC invested $1 billion in MGM due to the growth potential in online gambling.