In 2021, there were quite a few M&A transactions in the (sports) gambling industry. In September, it was reported that DraftKings had made an offer worth some $22 billion to acquire Entain, a UK online sports betting company.
Had the deal been actualized, it would have resulted in the world’s largest gambling company. However, DraftKings abandoned the takeover bid in October.
Because of this decision, it was speculated that the involved parties would include MGM Resorts and perform a trilateral merger. That’s because Entain and MGM Resorts established a 50-50 joint venture in 2018, creating BetMGM.
Back in January last year, Entain turned down an $11-billion acquisition offer from MGM Resorts, deeming the bid too low. When DraftKings doubled the amount, MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle pointed out that they could “block” the American company from operating in the US should the transaction go through.
DraftKings abandoned its bid, noting that the companies had had several discussions but couldn’t reach a deal. DraftKings CEO Jason Robins stated that negotiations didn’t always lead to a firm offer.
For now, DraftKings will focus on its long-term growth objectives in “the rapidly-growing North America market.” That adjective is certainly justified considering that the sports betting industry is projected to rise by 10.1% annually in 2021–2028.
More M&A deals are expected this year, but we can only wait and see which companies will take that step.