As it closes in on its $3.69 billion takeover of William Hill, Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) is reportedly looking to further leverage its fast-growing sports wagering business.
Fresh off a deal with Sportsbetting.com announced last week, the Harrah’s operator may be chatting with Europe’s Betway about a market access agreement.
But we’re also hearing rumblings that Caesars has another U.S. market access partner waiting in the wings: Betway, the European online gambling operator which has cryptically teased access to 10 U.S. states,” according to Eilers & Krejcik Gaming’s bi-weekly EKG Line report.
Betway is a division of Digital Gaming Corp. (DGC). On its website, DGC confirms Betway is live in 20 regulated markets around the world. It doesn’t mention the US states it’s looking to enter. Caesars currently offers online sports wagering in Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
Brisk Stretch of Dealmaking for Caesars
Should news of an agreement between Caesars and Betway become official, it would extend a busy period for the casino operator in terms of striking sports betting accords.
Last week, the gaming company reached a deal with Carousel’s Sportsbetting.com unit, providing that entity with market access in Indiana, Iowa and New Jersey. Late last month, the Flamingo operator took a minority stake in daily fantasy sports (DFS) provider SuperDraft, Inc. that could eventually lead to full ownership of the closely held company.
“The deal(s) — real and rumored – suggest that Caesars is not going to broadly hoard market access slots in a post-merger setting with William Hill, and that the company — like rival Penn National with Barstool — may look to plow some of its market access proceeds into William Hill’s post-merger U.S. marketing budget,” according to Eilers & Krejcik.
Sports Betting Becoming Caesars Centerpiece
As the second-largest operator on the Las Vegas Strip and with a deep regional portfolio, Caesars is, at its core, a casino company. However, iGaming and sports wagering are increasingly prominent parts of the investment thesis.
“A successful integration of the (William Hill) US operations will put Caesars at a margin advantage vs. online peers while we expect the company to achieve 10 percent online market share,” said Macquarie analyst Chad Beynon in a recent note.
The analyst estimates Caesars will generate $600 million in online earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization (EBITDA) in 2025. He forecasts that once the William Hill deal closes, internet casinos and online sports betting will be worth $34 to Caesars’ share price, which was $93.44 at the Feb. 26 close.
That transaction is slated to close early in the second quarter.
“From there, we anticipate Caesars will highlight multiple partnerships and complete a rebranding of technology,” said Roth Capital analyst David Bain, who ads the William Hill acquisition will drive online valuation not currently reflected in Caesars shares.
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