23 Aug 2022

Deal Makers: The Top 10 iGaming M&A Deals Of 2022 (So Far)

Top 10 M&A Deals in iGaming | Exacta Solutions

We have analysed the most significant M&A activity in the iGaming industry in 2022 to date.

The year is shaping up to be monumental for M&A within the global iGaming industry. As of August, several billion-dollar deals have already been completed, while many other major announcements have been made among some of the biggest players within the industry. Recent trends, including a growing focus on the US and rapid expansion into other newly regulated markets, continue to fuel deals, resulting in soaring acquisition prices. Beyond completions and announcements, a number of massive deals have collapsed amidst economic fears and tough market conditions. It’s not all doom and gloom though, given the sheer number of marquee deals that have indeed been finalised.

Our list focuses on completed deals – let the countdown begin!

M&A Deals iGaming 2022 | Exacta Solutions10. IGT acquire iSoftBet (€160m)

In July, Multinational gambling company International Game Technology (IGT) completed its acquisition of iGaming content provider iSoftBet in a deal worth approximately €160m. In a statement, IGT chief executive Vince Sadusky explained that the acquisition will provide IGT with “market-tested proprietary digital content, advanced game aggregation capabilities, scalable promotional tools, analytics and strong creative talent.” Furthermore, the deal has ensured that IGT’s PlayDigital content library has more than doubled to include 225 proprietary games.

9. Entain purchases Avid Gaming (€228m)

Sports betting and gaming group Entain has expanded its reach in the burgeoning Canadian market through a €237m acquisition of Avid Gaming and its subsidiaries, which includes the Canadian-focussed brand Sports Interaction. Entain CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen said in a statement:“Sports Interaction is the leading Canadian sports betting and gaming brand and is aligned perfectly with our own ambitions of great customer service and ambitious growth, coupled with an unwavering commitment to sustainability.”

8. Evolution acquires NoLimit City (€340m)

Leading live dealer provider Evolution agreed to acquire slot developer Nolimit City in a total cash deal amounting to €340m. The addition of Nolimit City’s innovative and cutting-edge games—which include award-winning titles such as Mental, San Quentin, and East Coast/West Coast—is set to further bolster Evolution’s growing gaming portfolio. In recent years, Evolution has also successfully acquired slot developer studios NetEnt, Red Tiger, and Big Time Gaming. In a statement, Evolution said this most recent acquisition aligns with the company’s strategy to supply their customers with “the best” gaming content in the market.

7. NeoGames acquires Aspire Global (€416m)

Online lottery platform provider NeoGames successfully acquired B2B iGaming technology solutions provider Aspire Global in June. The deal is a major coup which will enable NeoGames to further expand its services within “new and existing markets” while strengthening its position as a leading global provider in technology and content across iLottery, online sports betting, and iGaming. NeoGames CEO Moti Malul explained that: “With this transaction, we are combining our two companies with a goal to create a leading global provider in interactive content, proprietary technology as well as gaming operations tapping into a potential total addressable market of $74 billion.”

6. DraftKings acquires Golden Nugget (€442m)

Leading sports betting provider DraftKings completed its acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) in an all-stock deal worth around €442m. The deal sees DraftKings gain access to Golden Nugget’s iGaming products as well as an existing combined database of more than 5 million customers. In a statement issued upon the agreement, Chairman and CEO of DraftKings Jason Robins said: “Acquiring Golden Nugget Online Gaming gives us synergies across our business. We anticipate that this acquisition will provide meaningful revenue uplift by utilizing our data-driven marketing capabilities and a dual brand iGaming strategy, gross margin improvement opportunities, and cost savings across external marketing and SG&A.”

iGaming Mergers Acquisitions | Exacta Solutions5. Flutter completes Tombola acquisition (€479m)

The beginning of the year kicked off with major news that online gaming giant Flutter had acquired bingo operator Tombola in an all-cash transaction worth €479m. Mainly located in Sunderland and Gibraltar, Tombola is a well-established bingo-led operator which focuses on providing a low-staking bingo games that engage some 400,000 monthly users. Peter Jackson, CEO of Flutter, said: “Flutter is delighted to add Tombola, the UK’s premier bingo brand, to the group. Tombola is a business we have long admired for its product expertise, highly recreational customer base and focus on sustainable play.”

4. Entain acquires BetEnt (€850m)

In June, Entain announced it had agreed to acquire the Dutch-licensed operator BetEnt BV in a bid to strengthen its presence within the Netherlands’ newly regulated online gambling market. The deal is reportedly worth €850m. Already enjoying a 20% market share within the Netherlands, the BetCity brand is set to complement Entain’s Bwin and Party Gaming brands which are awaiting Dutch market approval. Entain Group CEO Jette Nygaard-Andersen remarked: “This acquisition will provide customers with an even better experience as we combine BetCity’s local expertise and brand alongside Entain’s market-leading, customer-focused platform. This transaction further underpins our growth strategy of operating in attractive regulated markets.”

3. Flutter acquires Sisal (€1.9b)

Dublin-based sports betting and gaming company Flutter Entertainment announced it had completed a €1.91 billion acquisition of Italian online gaming firm Sisal this August. The move is set to enable Flutter to capitalise on Sisal’s “gold medal position” in Italy as the company continues to expand into more regulated markets across the globe. Since the acquisition was announced last December, Sisas has enjoyed a strong performance with 58% annual revenue growth to £402 million in the first half of 2022.

2. 888 completes William Hill acquisition (€2.25b)

888 Holdings, regarded as one of the world’s leading betting and gaming companies with internationally renowned brands such as 888, SI Sportsbook, and Mr Green, completed the acquisition of William Hill’s non-US assets from Caesars Entertainment in a deal worth €2.25bn. 888 chairman Itai Pazner said. “We have built an outstanding leadership team, combining strengths from across both businesses, and as I look at the future, the combination of our product and content leadership, powered by our proprietary technology, and our world class brands, gives us a powerful platform for growth.”

1. Scientific Games completes sale of lottery business (€5.7b)

Which brings us to the biggest M&A deal of the year so far. US-based Scientific Games, which recently rebranded as Light & Wonder, completed the sale of its lottery business to Brookfield Business Partners for a colossal €5.7bn. The sale will enable Scientific Games to focus its attention on providing games, services and technology to the global lottery and lottery-administered sports betting markets.

“This marks an exciting new chapter for Scientific Games, and positions the company to build on the record growth we achieved in 2021 across all parts of our lottery business,” said CEO for Scientific Games Pat McHugh. “Taking a long-term view of the business, Brookfield is committed to providing Scientific Games with the flexibility and agility necessary to expand our deep product portfolio to meet the evolving needs of our customers and their beneficiaries.”

For even more M&A updates and trends delivered directly to your inbox, SUBSCRIBE to the Exacta Solutions newsletter today.