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Gamesys Agree to £2 Billion Takeover Bid from Bally’s

USA and UK Merging FlagsGamesys, the operator that counts Virgin Casino, Jackpotjoy and Rainbow Riches Casino, has announced that they have accepted a £2 billion takeover bid from Bally’s.

The US based casino and racetrack firm is looking to expand into the UK market and will take control of Gamesys’ online properties as part of the deal, which saw the share price of the British outfit soar by nearly 20%.

Shareholders in Gamesys, who have given the green light to the takeover, will receive 1,850 pence per share or the chance to pick up 0.343 in Bally’s stock as part of the acquisition.

The duo released a joint statement on Wednesday, confirming details of the takeover and revealing that the deal would be concluded once the necessary due diligence and red tape had been completed.

The acquisition was brokered due to the ‘compelling strategic and financial rationale’ that would create ‘long term value’ for both parties, the joint statement revealed.

“From our first meeting to now, it has been the entrepreneurial energy of the two businesses that has brought us to the edge of creating a uniquely powerful company,” so said Lee Fenton, the chief executive officer at Gamesys.

“Our shared passion and vision to capitalise on technology disruption to better serve our customers, wherever they may be, should make for an exciting journey for our employees, customers and shareholders alike.”

Fenton would take over the running the new venture, which would be headquartered in Rhode Island, while George Papanier – the CEO of Bally’s would focus on running the retail casino side of the business while seeking new acquisitions, such as their purchase of DFS platform Monkey Knife Fight earlier in March.

Who are Gamesys?

Slot Reels on Laptop Screen
You may not know the name, but there’s a chance you have sampled the fruits of Gamesys’ labour in the past.

They have developed their own online casino and bingo sites, as well as acquiring heavily, to secure a portfolio that includes InterCasino, Vera&John, Monopoly Casino and more besides.

Gamesys became the parent company of Intertain in January 2017, and then in June 2018 a merger with Jackpot Joy created the Gamesys Group.

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Gamesys has been a target for takeovers for the past year, as the number of gamers heading to online casinos has increased significantly. They had resisted previous interest until the Bally’s offer came along, suggesting that the deal would be mutually beneficial for all parties.

Who are Bally’s?

Hard Rock Casino Biloxi
Image: Nicolas Henderson, flickr

While not that well known on UK shores, Bally’s is a significant player in the Gambling industry on American soil.

Focusing primarily on retail casinos, Bally’s portfolio currently includes the Hard Rock Biloxi, Twin River, Golden Gates and the Tiverton Casino Hotel.

They also own a number of racetrack and sportsbook properties, such as Arapahoe Park.

With nearly 6,000 employees across the USA, the Bally’s repertoire features some 13,000 slot machines, 3,000 hotel rooms and 450 games tables.

Together with Gamesys, they’ll be looking to make major strides in the industry now that they have synergised their high street presence with a more prominent online offering.