Bill Pascrell, III: European operators acquiring US-based online operations “better fit”


European and global operators acquiring US-based online companies is a trend we can expect to see in the gaming industry moving forward and will be a “better fit”, according to Bill Pascrell, III.

Merger and acquisition (M&A) activity has been rife in the US in recent times, with Golden Nugget Online Gaming (GNOG) going public after being acquired by Landcadia II, and Rush Street Interactive (RSI) following suit with a definitive agreement to combine with dMY Technology Group, in 2020.

While also last year, DraftKings was the first of these companies to become publicly traded after purchasing sports betting supplier SBTech. And earlier this week, Caesars Entertainment said its acquisition of William Hill will be completed by 1 April.

Additionally, MGM Resorts International was in talks to acquire operator Entain but has since withdrawn its offer. But with the online market very new to many US operators, Pascrell III believes the industry will start seeing the reverse happening, with European-based companies acquiring US online casino operators.

The partner at Princeton Public Affairs group, who has been a strategic gaming advisor and consultant across the US, Canada, Europe and Australia, also told Gaming America that he believes the MGM Resorts and Entain merger still remains on the cards.

Speaking to Gaming America, Pascrell III said: “There’s been a lot of US companies trying to acquire publicly traded online operators from Europe and other parts of the world. I think you’re going to start seeing the reverse happening, where some of these online companies will acquire US-based online casino operations and personally I see that being a better fit.

“MGM Resorts is a great company and a great US brand, but they don’t have a great deal of experience in online. If you acquire a company like Entain, are you going to be able to understand the importance of being nimble and innovative? I also think you’re going to start seeing a lot of European companies and perhaps companies in Australia, New Zealand and Israel, acquire US assets.

“It's a huge compliment to Entain that MGM Resorts made an offer for it. I do think that MGM’s offer was undervalued but they made a play and currently the Entain board has pressed the pause button on it for now. When a company makes an offer such as that, they may come back in a few months with another one.”

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