MGM Lion Roars, Stalks European iGaming, Eyes LeoVegas

MGM Resorts International, the US-based big beast of the betting world is eyeing up fresh prey with a major expansion into online and European iGaming.

Amid the runaway success of its online BetMGM joint-venture with the UK’s very own Entain Group in the booming US market, storied MGM– synonymous with big traditional land-based casino and entertainment resorts–has put down a US$607 million (£483.6m/SEK5.98bn/€577m) bid to buy leading Scandinavian Online platform LeoVegas.

“Our vision is to be the world’s premier gaming entertainment company,” Bill Hornbuckle, Chief Executive and President of MGM Resorts stated unequivocally. “And this strategic opportunity with LeoVegas will allow us to continue to grow our reach throughout the world.

“We have achieved remarkable success with BetMGM in the US, and with the acquisition of LeoVegas in Europe we will expand our online gaming presence globally.

“This offer creates a compelling opportunity that allows the combined teams of MGM Resorts and LeoVegas to fully realize the potential of our Omni-channel strategy. We look forward to being able to welcome the LeoVegas team to our MGM Resorts family.”

The MGM move has been met with acclamation by the LeoVegas Board, who have unanimously recommended the offer. It appears, also, that most of the company’s major shareholders are also in agreement.

“[We] operate in an industry which is characterised by innovation, pace, new regulation and consolidation,” the LeoVegas Board said in a statement.

“[We] believe that the industrial logic and strategic fit between LeoVegas and MGM is attractive and should serve both the company and its employees well in the future.

Founded in 2011 by Gustaf Hagman and headquartered in Stockholm, LeoVegas operates in eight jurisdictions, principally in Scandinavia and other European sectors.

The iGaming operator posted revenue of €393 million (£329.39m/SEK4.07bn/US$413.44m) in its last financial year, ending March 31, 2022.

MGM has offered to acquire the company for 61 Swedish Krona per share (£4.92/US$6.18/€5.87), a premium of around 44 per cent. The acquisition window opens next month, June, and closes in August.

It remains to be seen how the proposed acquisition will rub against ongoing BetMGM operations in North America, where in some markets all three companies—MGM Resorts, BetMGM and LeoVegas—will be technically competing against each other.

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